New Delhi: The Delta variant first found in India is being claimed to be the reason behind the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as per a study carried out by scientists of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The B.1.617.2 strain also called the Delta variant is reported to be "more infectious" than the Alpha variant which was first detected in Kent, UK the study claimed. "It has been found that Delta variant is in fact, 50 per cent more contagious than the Alpha strain," the study said, as reported by ANI.
According to the study "The B.1.617 lineage of SARS CoV-2 was first reported from Maharashtra but is now detected in other states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana."
INSACOG, a consortium of labs which undertook the genome sequencing in India, recommended stringent measures to be taken by the Health Ministry and NCDC that is to be further, communicated to all states and union territories and not just states with more cases of infections.
"Frequent written communications by Union Health Ministry and NCDC to all States/UTs (Not just to the high burden states) stressing the need for more stringent measures, have been sent at regular intervals," the study stated.
Further, the study urges that authorities keep a strict vigilance where new variants of concern are reported and take stringent public health measures.
"States/UTs are advised to keep strict surveillance in the districts reporting new variants of concern and take up stringent public health measures including contact tracing, genome sequencing of positive samples of persons having a history of international travel."
The Delta variant has infected people mostly in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Telangana, which are the worst-hit states in the second surge.
However, the study could not prove the role of the Delta variant in the severity of the COVID-19 infection which could have resulted in more fatalities.