Country’s first Covid double variant case detected in Assam

GUWAHATI: The first case of Covid double variant infection in the country was detected at ICMR-RMRC, Dibrugarh, the Regional Medical Research Centre for North-east region recently.

A female doctor from Dibrugarh was found to be infected by the Alpha variant early this year. Later, after full recovery, she was infected with the Delta variant in May, nodal officer and scientist of ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh, Dr Biswajyoti Borkakoty said here on Tuesday.

Terming it as a very rare case, Borkakoty said that it was the first such case reported from the country. Worldwide only four such cases of double variant infection have been reported.

In January, scientists in Brazil reported that two people had been simultaneously infected with two types of coronavirus. Another such case was reported from Portugal recently when a 17-year-old caught a second type of Covid while still recovering from a different, pre-existing Covid infection. Similarly in March, a 90-year old woman from Belgium died after being infected with the Alpha and Beta variants of the coronavirus.

“This is the first case of double variant infection detected in India. No such case has been reported from the rest of the country. The patient is a doctor from Dibrugarh who was involved in active Covid-19 duty treating Covid infected patients. She was infected with B.1.1.7 which is called the Alpha variant or the UK variant. By March she was fully vaccinated after recovering. Then again after more than a month she got infected with Covid-19 again,” Dr Borkakoty said. “During genome sequencing recently we found that she was infected with the Delta variant (B.B.617.2) which is also known as the Indian variant. She had mild symptoms. She recovered quite well and did not require any hospitalisation,” he said.

It needs to be mentioned here that last year, a team led by Dr Borkakoty had successfully managed to isolate the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2). In doing so ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh became the third government laboratory in the country to achieve the feat.

The Dibrugarh administration has taken steps to control the rising cases of Covid-19. In Dibrugarh, most of the cases were detected from rural areas.

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