New Delhi: The number of people infected with the new COVID-19 variant AY.4.2 in Karnataka has risen to seven with samples from three more individuals showing the presence of the variant that the United Kingdom’s government says has become “increasingly common” in its country in recent months.
“There are seven cases (of AY.4.2) in the state: three in Bengaluru and four in different parts of the state,” D Randeep, State Health and Family Welfare Commissioner, told the media.
No reports of deaths due to the new variant have been reported but one or two people have been hospitalised, he added.
Dr Saumitra Das, Director, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, West Bengal, attributes the numbers of a particular variant detected to a reclassification being undertaken by the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak Lineages (PANGO) nomenclature.
“Some of the AY.4 lineages are now called AY.33 as this classification is being changed by the PANGO classification. We don’t have any clear indication whether AY.4.2 mutant is behind the rise in cases,” he told News9.
There is no clinical correlation to say that this is more infective or less infective or more severe or less severe than Delta variant or other variants.
To check the transmission of the variant in the state the government is making a negative RT-PCR test report, obtained 72 hours before arrival, mandatory for those coming from abroad to the state.
“The test report has to be uploaded on a portal called Air Suvidha. Other than that, there is no restrictions like quarantining people,” Randeep clarified.
The Centre and the state will initiate other measures to keep infections under check.