Amid an uptick in COVID-19 infections, Assam on Thursday recorded the first instance of the Indian double mutant strain of SARS-Cov-2 in the state. This was informed by State health and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The double mutant strain B.1.617 was detected among the samples collected from passengers who landed at the Dibrugarh airport. The state had earlier detected the UK variant of the virus.
Confirming the presence of the double mutant strain via Twitter, Sarma expressing his concern over the detection of the new variant urged everyone to exercise extreme caution.
“Recent samples from Dibrugarh Airport are positive for B.1.617 strain or the Indian double mutant (L452R and E484Q) strain of SARS-Cov-2. We need to be very very careful,” Sarma tweeted.
The B.1.617 or ‘double mutant” Indian variant carries two mutations – L452R and E484Q, which has been seen separately before in other variants but never together in one variant.
The strain’s mutations are feared to make the variant spread faster and partially evade immunity.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) yesterday said that Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin neutralizes multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and effectively works against the double mutant strain as well.
Out of 73,428 tests conducted on Thursday, 1,931 people have tested positive for Coronavirus, while 680 cases have been detected in Kamrup (M) district. The overall positivity rate is recorded at 2.63 percent.
Earlier, the Assam government announced that all people coming from outside the state will have to undergo seven days of compulsory home quarantine.