More than 3000 cases and 150 death tolls in the Gujarat state brings worry to healthcare experts and policymakers. The situation is somewhat similar in Indore (Madhya Pradesh) where more than 60 deaths have been reported so far. Both regions have a death rate of 4. 57 & 4.97 respectively which are higher than the national average 3.1%. As per the experts, a particularly lethal strain of Sars- CoV2 can be considered responsible for the rising death toll in the region.
L-type Novel Coronavirus Strain
As per the research done by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), the L-type strain of the virus is found to be very common among places with a high death rate and could be a potential reason behind the rising casualty graph.
A research study in China revealed the two major strains of coronavirus – L and S which are in circulation causing tremendous infection across the globe. As per the scientist from Peking University and Institute Pasteur of Shangai where the scientist was studying these strain, the L strain was quite dominant in Wuhan city during the initial phase. However, as soon as the infection spread to other places, strain S became dominant.
As per their study L type strain has higher transmission and death rate than that of S-type strain. Both strains are known to have just a 4% difference in their genetic makeup.
“The recovery rate of Gujarat Covid-19 patients is slightly lower than the national recovery rate, and likewise the mortality rate is also higher than the national mortality rate. When consulted, our experts on the subject opined that, out of the two mutations, the L- strain is believed to be more aggressive than the S- strain and which is believed to be the primary reason for the slow recovery and high mortality in Gujarat. – Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.
GBRC in India is studying these strains further to understand the mechanism of infection and what sets them to mutate. As per some doctors in Indore, the belt has more virulent strain than anywhere else in the country. Therefore, they have sent samples of the virus to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for a more detailed study.
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