Delta variant behind longer infection, higher hospitalisation

Odisha reported 1,948 more new cases and 67 fatalities pushing the State’s coronavirus tally to 9,61,934 and death toll to 5,308.

Published: 23rd July 2021 08:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2021 08:26 AM   |  A+A-


Coronavirus (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  The gradual decline of cases in various parts of the State may have given hope of an ebb in the second wave, but rising rate of hospitalisation and longer duration of recovery of afflicted people have emerged a big concern.

Scientists of the city-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), where genome sequencing of Covid samples of four states is being conducted, claimed that the Covid infection and viral load in patients are now remaining for a longer period than 14 days as assumed earlier.

“Unlike the first wave and initial days of the second wave, the infection and active viral load are detected for more than 20 days and in some cases for a month in patients. The recovery is also taking time, possibly due to the Delta variant that is dominant in Odisha,” ILS Director Dr Ajay Parida said. Although patients were earlier testing positive even after recovery due to presence of dead virus, Dr Parida, head of the panel to study post vaccination infection, said, surprisingly, the viral load remained unchanged for a longer period in patients found positive for Delta variant.

“This could be the reason why the infection is still spreading in the community. Active viral load extending beyond 14 days means the patient is capable of transmitting the virus.

Patients in home isolation are moving out with a hope that they will not be spreading the disease since they have completed a 14-day quarantine, but actually are transmitting the infection,” he claimed.

Seeking community involvement to contain the pandemic, Dr Parida suggested that the patients should remain in home isolation until they are fully recovered and do not show any symptom and properly follow Covid appropriate behaviour.

According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Delta variant was dominant in the State among the samples sequenced last week. Of the 384 samples sequenced, 316 were found with Delta and 10 with Alpha variant.

Meanwhile, the State reported 1,948 more new cases and 67 fatalities pushing the State’s coronavirus tally to 9,61,934 and death toll to 5,308.

The State conducted the highest 79,372 tests bringing down the test positivity rate to 2.4 per cent. Odisha now has 17,413 active cases after the recovery of 2,210 patients on Thursday.


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