DEHRADUN: With the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirming detection of a total of six cases of various strains, according to doctors in Dehradun’s Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL), it is now confirmed that highly contagious double mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 had registered its presence before the Mahakumbh 2021 started on April 1.
The samples which confirmed the double mutant strain was sent to the NCDC at the end of March month. Dr Shekhar Pal, principal investigator of VRDL in Doon Medical College, Dehradun said, "The double mutant strain is said to be 50-70% more infectious than the original one which started the pandemic."
The experts confirmed that three of the six are of the double mutant strain, two are of the UK strain and one is yet to be identified. The mega religious event was attended by millions of people from across the country with 35 lakh on April 12 Shahi Snan and 13.51 lakh on April 14 Shahi Snan.
Anoop Nautiyal, an analyst based in Dehradun whose Social Development for Communities Foundation is analysing Covid 19 data since March 2020 said, "Mahakumbh has no doubt acted as a super spreader event. People who came to attend the rituals in Haridwar must have gone back to their home states with infection of new variant. The situation has become dire and systems around us are collapsing. More tests, rapid vaccination is the only way out."
Uttarakhand on 31 March registered total 293 cases which shot up to 2160 cases on April 19. Uttarakhand has registered whopping 89 fold increase in duration of April 1-15 in comparison to February 14-28. Total 172 cases of COVID-19 surfaced from February 14-28 while 15333 cases surfaced from April 1-14 amid ongoing Mahakumbh in which over 50 lakh gathered in two days- April 12 and 14.
The number of daily COVID cases have reached 2000-2500 per day after commencement of the Mahakumbh in Haridwar from April 1 comparison to 30-60 cases everyday in February in the state of Uttarakhand.
Total 3012 new COVID cases surfaced in Uttarakhand on Friday taking total active cases count in the state to 21014. The recovery rate further came down to 80.21% with positivity rate of 3.81 per cent across the state. Meanwhile, the state has vaccinated total 13,89,410 people out of which 2,72,570 have got second dosage of the vaccine too.