Two suspected cases of AY.4.2 variant of the novel coronavirus have been identified and the samples have been sent to a laboratory for the genome sequencing, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday. "There are two suspected cases of AY.4.2 variant of viruses and I have instructed my department to send the samples for genomic sequencing for confirmation," Sudhakar told reporters in Bengaluru.
Health Department officials said the samples have been sent to the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bengaluru for testing. They also said both the affected persons are from Bengaluru and are asymptomatic. They said the AY.4.2 is said to be a Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom.
Speaking about Karnataka's preparedness, Sudhakar said the state has started genome sequencing and have set up six-seven (genome) labs in the state. The minister said whenever a new variant emerges the state can immediately get the advice of the experts and discuss with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
Regarding the new variant creating fresh trouble in the UK, he said he will speak to the chairperson of the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 on it. He also said that studies are underway to find out what variant it is. Sudhakar claimed those who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine need not be afraid of the virus as it will have little effect on them.
The minister said there was no need to panic as the state government has taken enough steps to check the spread of the disease.