The Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) has confirmed new variants of coronavirus including Alpha and Delta variants.
HEOC spokesperson Dr. Nazla Rafeeq revealed this during Tuesday’s Covid-19 press briefing, adding that samples were sent for gene sequencing thrice. Noting that 30 samples were sent each time -swabs taken from both locals and foreigners- Nazla said that results of the last batch have since been received.
She said that while 20 percent of the samples tested positive to the Alpha variant which was discovered first in the United Kingdom last December, that the most dominant strain in the country according to the sequencing is the Delta variant; 27 percent tested positive to the strain first discovered in India.
Noting that the latter is the fastest spreading variant in India, Nazla revealed that the samples had tested positive for other variants as well. This includes viral clades G (13 percent), GR (three percent) and Sub Lineage (Peru/Chile -10 percent). The remaining 27 percent were other variants.
The HEOC spokesperson highlighted that the most dangerous strain of Covid-19 have been discovered in the Maldives, adding that this is due to travel in to and within the country.
Dr. Nazla also revealed that they will continue efforts to send more samples overseas for sequencing in the future with assistance from the World Health organization (WHO).
Maldives saw an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases back in April, which was confirmed as a fourth wave. With more than 1,000 new cases daily, number of fatalities increased as well. May saw the highest number of Covid-19 fatalities in a single month, 88 deaths, while 111 were confirmed between April 28 and June 5.
This led to the strengthening of Covid-19 safety measures across the country especially the epicenter capital Male’ City in mid-May. While reported daily cases and hospitalizations have been decreasing since, recoveries continue to increase.