Uttar Pradesh reports 2 cases of Kappa COVID-19 variant
Uttar Pradesh has reported two cases of the Kappa variant of coronavirus, the state government said today in a statement. A total of 109 samples were sent for genome sequencing at King George's Medical College in Lucknow, of which 107 were confirmed to be of the highly-infectious Delta variant and the remaining of the Kappa strain. Here are more details on this.
One of the infected patients died, reports say
According to some reports, one of the patients who tested positive for this strain in UP, has died. The patient, a 66-year-old man, died on June 14 during treatment at a hospital. He had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 27 and had no travel history, ZEE News reported. Earlier, two cases of the Delta Plus variant were detected in the state.
'There is nothing to worry about,' official says
"There is nothing to worry about. This is a variant of coronavirus and its treatment is possible," Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said, according to news agency PTI. The state is also scaling up genome sequencing facilities, the government said.
What is the Kappa variant of COVID-19?
Kappa is not a new variant of the coronavirus. It was first identified in India in October 2020 and belongs to the same lineage as the Delta variant does. The Kappa variant's formal scientific name is B.1.617.1. It has two mutations - EE484Q and L452R - and the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized it as a "Variant of Interest."
India's coronavirus situation
India had faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, reporting lakhs of cases and thousands of deaths daily. That wave of infections was driven by the Delta variant, experts said. Even though the situation has since improved, health experts have warned that a third wave of the pandemic could hit India as early as next month.
Variants more infectious, may evade immunity
Variants of the coronavirus such as Alpha, Kappa, Delta, and Delta Plus are said to be more infectious than the original strain, which originated in China in late 2019. Studies have shown these variants may also partially evade immunity generated from prior infection or vaccination.