Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Assam, samples of the double mutant variant of novel coronavirus have been found at the Dibrugarh Airport—the first such detection in the northeastern region—officials said on Friday.
Health officials said that before Assam, the double mutant strain was found in Maharashtra, Delhi, and West Bengal.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Health Minister of Assam, recently tweeted the following:
The double mutant (B.1.617) strain is said to be partly responsible for the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and few other states in India.
Scientists had earlier feared that vaccines may not offer protection against the double mutant strain, as it may escape the immune system.
"There were 7,685 active cases in Assam on Tuesday night and it rose to 10,571 late on Thursday night. So far, 2,31,069 positive cases have been reported from across the state, while 1,160 patients have succumbed to the virus," a health official said.