Covid: Delta plus variant AY.1 rising in Kerala
New Delhi: It has been found that the sub-lineages of the Delta variant responsible for the second wave of Covid in the country are rising in Kerala. The Delta plus variant AY.1 was detected in five districts in the state in July and August. The number of these variants have also been found to be comparatively high in Kerala. It is not yet clear whether the new AY.1 variant is deadlier than the existing variant B.1.617.2.
Out of the 909 samples tested in August, 424 showed the presence of the new variants of Delta (AY.1 to AY.25). But the accuracy of the variants that were detected other than AY.1 has not been confirmed. The percentage of AY.1 alone rose above 6% in the month of August in the state. This was revealed in the study conducted by the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB).
The AY.1 variant has been detected in Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, and Thiruvananthapuram districts. The 0.5% in June and 1% in July has gone up to 6% of the AY.1 variant in the month of August. It is only in Kerala that the AY.1 variant is found to exceed 5%, Dr Vinod Scaria of the research group told mathrubhumi.com. After Kerala, Maharashtra has the most number of these variants.
It has been found in a study conducted in the UK that the AY.1 variant is not very potent compared to the immunity attained by vaccination. Out of the 155 samples of breakthrough infection that were tested in Kerala, AY.1 variant was detected in one of the samples.