J&K records 866 fresh COVID-19 cases, 14 more deaths


B.1.617.2 variant ravages UT


JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir recorded 866 fresh cases, taking the infection tally to 3,06,638 on Saturday, while 14 deaths took the toll to 4,174, officials said.
Out of the fresh cases, 265 were from the Jammu division and 601 from the Kashmir division of the Union Territory, they said.
Also 14 COVID-19 deaths have been reported, eight from Jammu Division and six from Kashmir Division.
Srinagar district recorded the highest of 164 cases, followed by 71 each in Budgam and Pulwama districts.
The number of active cases has dropped to 16,284 in the Union Territory, while 2,86,180 patients have recovered so far, the officials said.
The death toll due to the disease rose to 4,174 as 14 patients died in the past 24 hours. The officials said there were 19 confirmed cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) and one fresh case was reported since last evening.
Referring to the spurt in cases, Dr Shashi Sudhan Principle and Dean GMC Jammu has said that the recent epidemiological studies have suggested the role of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants for ragging second COVID wave in India including Jammu and Kashmir. The sudden increase in the number of COVID related deaths in UT of J&K especially in Jammu raised an alarm about the circulating variant of concern (B.1.617.2) in Jammu, which was proved right by the study
Dr Sudhan further said that the COVID positive samples are routinely sent to Indian SARS CoV-2 Consortium of Genomics (INSACOG) for genomic sequencing and analysis of circulating COVID-19 viruses and several variants have been reported in Jammu.
Dr Sudhan said “There is available information to suggest that the increased transmissibility and increased deaths in the month of May were linked to the variant of concern”.
As per the recent data of Covid-19 Positives samples sent from Department of Microbiology, GMC Jammu to National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi, for genetic sequencing, 68.5% of the tested positive patients were reported to have variant of concern i.e. B.1.617.2, generally known as the double mutant and been classified as being “of concern” by the WHO.
The PMC further said that the mortality rate among patients admitted in the HDU of GMC, Jammu was 62.5% in those infected with the ‘variant of concern,’ with a very high number of young patients, indicating the higher public health implications of the variant.
Dr. Sharma further added that “among those patients admitted 58.4% were reported to have B.1.617.2 ( THE VARIANT OF CONCERN ); 22.47% were reported to have B.1 mutation, 6.74% were having B.1.1 mutant, 3.37% had B.1.617.1 variant while as 1.1% had B .1.1.7 the UK variant. Further ,she added that 2.247% of admitted patients were reported to have no mutant at all.
Meanwhile, the Union Territory of Ladakh recorded 31 new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily rise in over two months, taking the infection tally to 19,506, officials said.
The twin districts of Leh and Kargil had recorded over 9,000 positive cases and 67 Covid-related deaths since April, pushing the overall death toll in the region to 197 — 143 in Leh and 54 in Kargil. However, the number of new infections started declining from June 6 when the figure came down to double figures.
Out of the 31 new cases, the officials said, 20 persons tested positive in Leh taking the infection tally in the district to 16,113, while 11 cases were detected in Kargil pushing the district tally of infections to 3,393 since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. Eighty-eight patients — 63 in Leh and 25 in Kargil — were discharged after recovery, taking the number of cured patients to 18,513, which accounted for 94.91 per cent of the total cases, they said.
They said the active cases have now dropped to 796 — 653 in Leh and 143 in Kargil.