Bhubaneswar: AY.4.2, a new mutation of Delta variant of COVID-19, has been detected in India reportedly in very low numbers. The scientists are closely monitoring the new Delta subvariant amid rise in COVID cases in the United Kingdom.
Delta AY.4.2 has been classified as a ‘Variant Under Investigation’ by the UK Health Security Agency.
The UK Health Security Agency revealed that about 6 percent of COVID cases genetically sequenced last week were caused by the Delta AY.4.2 mutation.
The new strain might have caused sharp rise in COVID cases in the UK during Spring. Since a few days, the country has been recording about 50,000 new COVID infections, marking another three-month high. The daily infections on rise in all age groups including children.
The AY.4.2 mutation of the Delta variant was first detected in July 2021. Since then, it has been slowly increasing across the world.
Scientists estimated that the new subvariant may be upto 15% more transmissible than Delta variant.
In England, the AY.4.2 made up almost 10 per cent of all infections in England in the fortnight ending October 9, though the cases due to the subvariant is minimal India.
AY.4.2 is a sub-lineage of the delta variant of the COVID, while delta continues to be the most dominant variant circulating in India. So far, 17 samples of SARS-CoV2 variant called AY.4.2 have been identified in Indian States like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
However, there is yet no evidence that AY.4.2 is more deadly than earlier versions of the Delta strain, which was first identified in India in December 2020.
According to WHO and UK agency, the strain could be the most infectious subvariant of Delta since the pandemic broke out. It has
two mutations — Y145H and A222V.
The new delta variant seems to be highly transmissible but not fatal, Indian scientists estimated.