Tripura: The highly infectious Covid-19 variant ‘Delta Plus’ has made its way to Tripura, as the state records as many as 90 per cent of samples in genome sequencing to be containing the highly transmissible Delta Plus variant, as per the chief nodal officer of the north-eastern state. Tripura – which is the first northeastern state to report the new strain – now has 138 cases of the deadly and highly infectious variant of COVID-19.
“About 151 samples were sent to a government laboratory in West Bengal. As many as 138 or 90 per cent of these samples have found to contain the Delta plus variant,” Dr Deep Debbarma, COVID nodal officer of Tripura, said.
During the press conference held late on Friday, the state health department also informed that few samples also tested positive for the Delta and Alpha variants.
“While 10 samples had Delta variants, three contained Alpha variants,” the health official said.
“115 of the samples that contained the Delta Plus variants were found in west district alone while 8 samples in Sepahijala district, Gomati district (5 samples), Unakoti district (4 samples) and 2 each in North and South districts contained Delta Plus variant,” he said.
One sample each in Khowai and Dhalai districts also were found to contain the Delta Plus variant.
Tripura’s COVID-19 tally currently stands at 56,169. At least 574 have died due to the virus in the state so far. The state currently has 5,152 active cases.
The daily positivity rate in the state is at worrying five per cent.
Between 50-60 per cent of the Covid patients in the second wave in the state are infected by the double mutant variant of coronavirus or Delta variant, according to health experts.
“Like some other states, the infection of Delta strain in Tripura is high — around 50 to 60 per cent. The double mutant variant is infecting young people, even children as well. It is a matter of concern”, Dr Tapan Majumder, head of the Microbiology department of Agartala Government Medical College (AGMC), was quoted as saying by news agency.
The emergence of Delts plus strain in Tripura – which is one of the few small states with good vaccination coverage – has alarmed officials.
In order to break the high transmission rate, Tripura has reimposed its 24 hours weekend curfew from 12 pm today to 6 am Monday. The state has already imposed a curfew in urban areas including the capital Agartala where the positivity was the highest at around 10 percent.
Eighty percent of new infections in India are reported from 90 districts of which 14 are in the northeastern states, according to the Health Ministry.