Delta plus variant of coronavirus, identified as the strain of concern by the World Health Organisation, has now appeared 'predominant' in Tripura, raising a serious concern all around.
The new strain is active in all eight districts of the state and there is a surge in the Covid positivity rate over the past four weeks despite all preventive measures being in place, said Tripura State Surveillance Officer for COVID19- Dr. Deep Kumar Debbarma.
"Total 151 Covid positive samples were sent to a designated laboratory in Kalyani of West Bengal for sequencing. As per the results that came today itself, the Delta Plus strain was detected in above 90 percent of the samples that included 80 percent cases in the West Tripura district alone," Dr. Debbarma said at a press conference on Friday evening.
Elaborating the report, Dr. Tapan Majumder, Head of Microbiology Department, Agartala Government Medical College (AGMC) said that out of the 151 samples, total 138 samples were detected as Delta Plus variant, 10 Delta strain and the remaining three were found to be UK variant.
"Out of the 138 Delta Plus variant cases, 115 cases were reported in West Tripura district alone followed by 8 in Sepahijala, 5 in Gomati, 2 in South Tripura, 1 in Khowai, 1 in Dhalai, 4 in Unakoti and 2 in North Tripura district," Dr. Majumder said.
"The Delta Plus strain spreads fast and it can also break the efficacy of the vaccine among the infected persons. This strain mostly attacks the lungs that increase the death risk," Dr. Majumder explained.
When asked about the reason behind the high rate of infection, the Microbiologist held 'carelessness of people in maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour' and 'lackadaisical attitude for testing' responsible.
The Tripura Government on Friday imposed weekend curfew as well as extended the existing Corona Curfew in Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and twelve other Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).While expressing his concern over the spread of the Delta Plus variant, the microbiologist cautioned, "If the Covid appropriate behaviour is not maintained, the situation may turn complicated inviting more troubles."
According to the officials, now the major focus of the health functionaries was to break the transmission chain of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, after reviewing the overall situation, the Tripura Government on Friday imposed weekend curfew as well as extended the existing Corona Curfew in Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and twelve other Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
According to the notification, the Weekend Curfew will remain in force from 12 noon of July 10 to 6 am July 12 in the AMC and the 12 ULB areas.
The Corona Day Curfew (2 pm to 6 pm) has been extended with effect from July 12 up to July 16 in the AMC and the ULBs while the Corona Night Curfew (6 pm to 5 am of next morning) has been imposed across the state from July 12 to July 17, the notification said.
On the other hand a two-member expert team deputed by the Centre visited Tripura to support the overall Covid management. They held meetings with the top health officials and also inspected various Covid Care facilities across the state.
According to official sources, the team had appreciated the state's efforts in vaccinating the people and also prescribed some suggestions for controlling the situation. Now, the experts would submit a detailed report to the Union Ministry of Health with their observations and suggestions.
According to the latest report from the state Health department, the Covid death tally had reached 709 with the virus claimed three lives on Friday. Now, there are 3743 active cases in Tripura. While the overall positivity rate is at 5.15 percent, the recovery rate stands at 93.59 percent.