How widespread is Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka now?


While the second wave of COVID-19 was largely driven by the more virulent Delta variant and its sub-lineages with 90.7% of the total 5,659 samples sequenced testing positive for it, 26% of the total 1,853 samples sequenced in the third wave in January were found to have Delta, according to data released from the State Government.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar tweeted on Friday, “Which strain is dominating the third wave in Karnataka? As per the genome sequencing sample, the following are the dominant strains: Second wave: 90.7% Delta, Third wave: 67.5% Omicron and 26% Delta.”

Sources said a total of 2,791 samples were sequenced at INSACOG labs in Karnataka from December 2021 to January 21, 2022. Of these, while 1,355 were found to have the Delta and its sub-lineages, Omicron was found only in 27% (766) of the samples. Other variants accounted for 24% (670).

This month alone till January 21, as many as 1,853 samples were sequenced and the results showed 404 had Delta and its sub-lineages, 102 had other variants and 1,049 had Omicron.

V. Ravi, nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka who also heads the State’s Genomic Surveillance Committee, agreed with the Minister’s tweet and said this was true when the overall sequencing data was taken into account from December 2020.

“However, when we analyse the sequencing results pertaining to the third wave of COVID-19 in Karnataka (from December 2 when the first two cases were reported till date), Omicron is more common among the sequenced samples,” he said.

Guidelines for home tests

The State on Friday issued guidelines for disposal of rapid antigen and other testing kits used at home. “Do not dispose of the used kits along with domestic wet/dry waste as it is contagious. Put the used kits in a biohazard bag and hand it over to waste collectors separately,” stated the circular on the guidelines.

“If the test is positive, update status on If the test is negative but the person has COVID symptoms, go for RT-PCR test. If the test is negative and no symptoms, no action is required,” stated the guidelines.

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