New strain responsible for Covid surge in NE India, say experts


New strain responsible fo
While experts are trying to identify the causes which led to the huge surge of Covid-19 positive cases in North East India during the second wave, one reason being attributed is the new strain hitting the region.
North East India, which stood largely unaffected by the first wave, has been resorting to lockdowns and other restrictions since the last couple of months as cases spiked even in the tea estates.
Researcher and Assam Medical College Assistant Professor Dr Gayatri Gogoi told ET, “We have done a survey where we found that 41% people in rural areas and 51% people in urban areas had sero-positivity while the remaining had immunity.”
She said, “One reason for the second wave affecting Assam severely is the new strain. The second wave came with new strains and those were found in Assam.”
On April 22, the Assam Health Department confirmed that samples from Dibrugarh Airport showed the presence of the B.1.617 or Delta variant (L452R and E484Q) strain of SARS-Cov-2.
Sikkim reported 250 new Covid cases on Wednesday, and with this, the tally has gone up to 15,876 ever since the second wave started, as per the Health Department bulletin issued on Wednesday. The death toll in the state stood at 260. Sikkim has 4,103 active cases as on Wednesday.
Assam witnessed 4,178 new Covid cases on Wednesday. From April 1 to June 2, around 2,372 people died of Covid-19, compared to the total death count of 1,105 during the first wave.
Talking about tea garden workers getting infected, Dr JB Ekka, Principal Secretary, Labour Department, told ET, “Around half of the 800-odd tea gardens are affected by Covid. There are 8,500 cases reported besides 59 deaths in the tea estates.”
With fresh cases of 228 reported on Wednesday, the Covid cases in Mizoram stood at 12,859. There have been around 45 deaths in the second wave.
Mizoram’s Health Secretary Lalramnghaka said the second wave has been severe. “We have seen that a large number of deaths have taken place in patients with comorbidities. Mizoram has formed a study panel to examine the causes of the spread of the contagious disease. The panel is working on it.”
The caseload in Nagaland is around 22,072 after 218 people were tested positive on Wednesday. Manipur added 729 positive cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.
On Thursday, 376 cases were detected in Arunachal Pradesh and the total cases now stood at 28,018. With 552 cases, Meghalaya’s Covid tally stood at 37,149 . The death toll is around 625.