The National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) for genome sequencing found that out of the total samples sent by Madhya Pradesh, 6 percent recorded double mutation of the Covid-19 virus, and 5 percent of the cases were found to be infected with the UK variant of the virus.
Out of 972 samples that were sent for genome sequencing, 450 were collected last year and the remaining in the last two months. So far, 876 samples have been processed, out of which 56 had shown double mutation, whereas at least 44 samples had the UK variant.
Most of these samples are from two of the worst affected districts of Madhya Pradesh; Indore and Bhopal. While Madhya Pradesh recorded a total of 10,166 Covid positive cases on Thursday, Indore and Bhopal displayed the most number of active cases, 1693 and 1637, respectively. In total, Madhya Pradesh has a positivity rate of 21.2 percent.
The samples that were sent for genome sequencing hardly constitute even 1 percent of the cumulative positive cases of Madhya Pradesh which is 3,73,518. A senior officer said roughly 1,000 of the total Covid positive cases went through genome sequencing and about 10 percent of those either had the UK variant or displayed double mutation, reported The Indian Express.
Across the country, a total of 12,000 samples have gone through genome sequencing to date. However, only those cases which show Covid positive in RT-PCR tests are preserved for genome sequencing. "Considering there were 50,000 positive cases reported with RT-PCR tests, around 500 cases were sent, which is very less," said a senior health official.
The Covid-19 virus rapidly mutates and keeps on changing its variants. The South African variant of the virus is reported to be capable of escaping the immune response of men. The UK variant, on the other hand is considered more virulent, and the double mutation virus is highly infectious even though less virulent than the UK variant.
The Centre issued new guidelines establishing that every state would send 15 randomly selected samples for genome sequencing while the tertiary centres in the state would send samples of patients who were severely ill, re-infections and suspected cases of vaccination failure.