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Covid-19: First patient with S Africa variant confirmed in Delhi

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A 33-year-old man from Kerala has become the first person with the South African variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, to be admitted to a city hospital

PUBLISHED ON MAR 16, 2021 11:17 AM IST

A 33-year-old man from Kerala has become the first person with the South African variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, to be admitted to a city hospital. He is currently the only person admitted to the special ward at Lok Nayak Hospital. He is asymptomatic and does not need any medical care at the moment.

The person was brought to the Delhi government-run hospital after his RT-PCR test came positive at the airport. As he was travelling from South Africa, the officials suspected that it could be the new variant.

“He was brought to the special ward created for people suspected to have the South Africa variant. His genetic sequencing report came back positive… for the new variant. He does not need any oxygen support, he is asymptomatic. He will be kept in isolation to ensure that the infection does not spread to others,” said a doctor.

Several people with travel history were found to have the UK variant earlier in the city. The Brazil variant has also been reported in at least one traveller in India.

All three variants of the virus have mutations in the spike protein – used by the virus to enter the human cells – and are more infectious. The N501Y mutation that is found in all three variants helps the virus spread easily, whereas the E484K mutation in the South African and Brazilian variants helps the virus evade the body’s antibody response that can lead to more infections.

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