VISAKHAPATNAM: Of the 17 cases of Delta AY4.2 variant of the Covid-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 detected in the country, seven are from Andhra Pradesh. Besides, Andhra Pradesh, the sub-lineage of coronavirus, AY4.2, has been reported from five other States.
According to the India SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG), the body responsible for tracking new variants of the virus, AY4.2 which was detected in slowly increasing frequency in the United Kingdom, has been under investigation in India.
AY4.2 seemed to be highly communicable, but not fatal.
A Karnataka health department tweet, quoting INSACOG, said one case of AY4.2 infection was detected in Telangana. Medical and health department officials in Andhra Pradesh, however, were not immediately available for comment.
Experts felt that since the complete nature of the variant was not understood, it would be crucial to step up vigilance and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Visakhapatnam-based Andhra Medical College (AMC) principal and Covid special officer Dr PV Sudhakar said it was too early to speculate about the high transmissibility of AY4.2.
Dr Sudhakar termed it a small lineage of the delta variant.
“It is not known whether it is more virulent and has higher transmissibility. The latest variant has genetic sequencing which is different from the previous one,’’ he said.
He said the AY4.2 displayed features of the latest variant reported in the US and other countries. On the possible third wave, Dr Sudhakar said earlier it was predicted to hit around October.
“It, however, got delayed due to robust vaccination in the State,’’ he said.
Experts did not rule out the possibility of the third wave in January or February due to the movement of people during the festival seasons and the delay in vaccinating children.
Dr Sudhakar expressed happiness over the TPR that has been remaining below two percent.
Many people who had received the first dose have been avoiding the second dose due to complacency. Those evading the second dose should be identified through the details they had provided.