No Delta plus variant case found in Tripura: Health Ministry

The Central government on Sunday said that there is no case of the highly infectious Delta plus variant of coronavirus in Tripura even as the doctors in the state, quoting reports of a West Bengal-based national institute, on Friday claimed that 138 cases of the variant were found in the northeastern state.

The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, in a statement, said that 152 samples were sent earlier from Tripura to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) at Kalyani in West Bengal for Whole Genome Sequence (WGS) process.

“The results of the WGS revealed that three samples had tested positive for B.1.1.7, 11 samples had tested positive for B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and 138 samples had tested positive for B.1.617.2 (Delta). There was no case of Delta Plus reported among the aforementioned lot of sequenced samples,” the statement said.

Two directors of the Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department and two senior doctors of the Agartala Government Medical College on Friday night told the media in a hurriedly-called briefing that after the samples of Tripura were tested in the NIBMG, 138 cases of Delta plus, 10 cases of Delta and three cases of the ‘UK variant’ were found in them.

A top official of Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department told IANS on Sunday night that they have sought clarifications from the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry about the coding of the Delta plus, Delta (plain) and other variants of coronavirus.

Tripura, till Sunday night, registered a cumulative tally of 70,479 Covid cases and while 65,871 recovered from the disease, 712 succumbed.

The northeastern state’s positivity and fatality rates are 5.16 per cent and 1.01 per cent, respectively.

The Centre had recently deputed multi-disciplinary teams to three northeastern states – Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur — in view of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases being reported from these states.

The central teams, consisting of a clinician and a public health expert, visited the states last week and monitored the overall implementation of Covid management measures, including testing, surveillance and containment operations, Covid appropriate behaviour and its enforcement, availability of hospital beds, logistics, vaccination etc.

Officials said that the central teams would submit their reports to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry which would forward the report to the states concerned.

Tripura Covid-19 Surveillance Officer Deep Kumar Debbarma said that the two-member central team led by All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health Director R.N. Sinha, arrived in the state on July 5 and visited various districts before leaving on Saturday.