The first case of covid double variant infection in the country was detected at ICMR-RMRC, Dibrugarh, the Regional Medical Research Centre for Northeast region recently, said an official of ICMR-RMRC.
Confirming this nodal officer and scientist of ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh Dr Biswajyoti Borkakoty said that a female doctor from Dibrugarh involved in covid work was found infected by the Alpha variant early this year. Later after recovering fully she got infected with the Delta variant in May.
Terming it as a very rare case, Borkakoty said that it was the first such case reported from India. He said that worldwide only four such cases of double variant infection have so far been reported. In January 2021, 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 2021, a 90-year old woman from Belgium died after being infected with the Apha 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 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 UK variant. By March she was fully vaccinated after recovering. Then again after more than a month she got infected with Covid-19 again. 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,” Dr Borkakoty said.
In July last year, a team led by Dr Borkakoty had succesfully managed to isolate the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) and by doing so ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh became the third government laboratory in the country to achieve the feat.