Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Health Labour

Gujarat Covid-19 cases cross 3.5k, local scientists blame L-type strain for the rise

The L-type strain is said to have a higher transmission rate, but international scientists debunk the claim

Sabrangindia 28 Apr 2020

GujaratImage Courtesy:indiatimes.com

Gujarat has turned out to become a hotbed of the coronavirus with a death rate of 4.71 percent for patients in Ahmedabad, against the country’s death rate which stands at 3.1 percent. It also has the slowest rate of recovery at 7.1 percent. Currently, the state of Gujarat has witnessed 162 deaths and has had 3,548 positive cases of Covid-19.

The death rate due to Covid-19 in Gujarat is higher than those in Mumbai and Delhi which have a death rate of 3.77 percent and 1.85 percent respectively.

Most of Gujarat’s cases are concentrated in the districts of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, with Ahmedabad recording 65 percent of the state’s total cases. Vadodara and Surat have recorded 16 percent and 8 percent of the cases respectively.

Ahmedabad, the largest cluster, also accounts for 67.5 percent of Gujarat’s deaths, with the city’s death rate being higher than that of the state.

L-type strain to be blamed?

The reason for this, scientists at the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) believe is the L-type strain of the novel coronavirus, which is dominant in places with high mortality rate abroad. It had recently succeeded in decoding the entire genome sequence of the novel coronavirus and identified its three new mutations.

Weather.com reported that a study in China revealed that there are two-main types of the coronavirus in circulation, which are causing worldwide infections – the L-type strain and the S-type strain.

As the transmission spread to other places, S type coronavirus became dominant. The study found that L type has a higher transmission rate as it replicates faster in human populations, making it a more progressive strain. These two types of strains have a genetic difference of about 4%.

The L-type strain was later found to be more prevalent in places where the mortality rate was very high, like Italy (26,644 deaths), Spain (23,521 deaths) and New York (17,280 deaths).

Director of GBRC, CG Joshi told the Economic Times, “Analysis done by scientists abroad has shown that the L-type strain has been dominant where more mortality is reported among coronavirus patients. This strain was found to be more prevalent in Wuhan. Variation in coronavirus is in terms of number and percentage of mutations. As per the analysis, the L-type strain is dominant where more mortality is reported. Scientists have earlier found that this strain has caused more deaths.”

The Indian Express had reported Atul Patel, an infectious disease specialist at the Sterling Hospital, as saying that the mortality rate was low in Kerala because most of the patients came from Dubai which had the milder S-type strain. He had said, “L is the original Wuhan strain which is more pathogenic and leads to more severe disease and early death. After Wuhan, there was spontaneous mutation of the L strain, which converted to S strain, which is milder, less pathogenic.”

However, The Print reported Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, saying that there is no proof so far that “strains have anything to do with virulence”.

“Some clades are more prevalent in certain geographical regions than in others. But none of these seems to have any differences in clinical outcome, mortality, virulence, or transmissibility. No evidence that strains have anything to do with virulence or clinical severity. So far,” she told The Print.

Related:

Did PM skirt ICMR controversy in video conference with CMs?
Covid19: Recovered Tablighi Jamaat members will donate blood so plasma therapy can help others

Gujarat Covid-19 cases cross 3.5k, local scientists blame L-type strain for the rise

The L-type strain is said to have a higher transmission rate, but international scientists debunk the claim

GujaratImage Courtesy:indiatimes.com

Gujarat has turned out to become a hotbed of the coronavirus with a death rate of 4.71 percent for patients in Ahmedabad, against the country’s death rate which stands at 3.1 percent. It also has the slowest rate of recovery at 7.1 percent. Currently, the state of Gujarat has witnessed 162 deaths and has had 3,548 positive cases of Covid-19.

The death rate due to Covid-19 in Gujarat is higher than those in Mumbai and Delhi which have a death rate of 3.77 percent and 1.85 percent respectively.

Most of Gujarat’s cases are concentrated in the districts of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, with Ahmedabad recording 65 percent of the state’s total cases. Vadodara and Surat have recorded 16 percent and 8 percent of the cases respectively.

Ahmedabad, the largest cluster, also accounts for 67.5 percent of Gujarat’s deaths, with the city’s death rate being higher than that of the state.

L-type strain to be blamed?

The reason for this, scientists at the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) believe is the L-type strain of the novel coronavirus, which is dominant in places with high mortality rate abroad. It had recently succeeded in decoding the entire genome sequence of the novel coronavirus and identified its three new mutations.

Weather.com reported that a study in China revealed that there are two-main types of the coronavirus in circulation, which are causing worldwide infections – the L-type strain and the S-type strain.

As the transmission spread to other places, S type coronavirus became dominant. The study found that L type has a higher transmission rate as it replicates faster in human populations, making it a more progressive strain. These two types of strains have a genetic difference of about 4%.

The L-type strain was later found to be more prevalent in places where the mortality rate was very high, like Italy (26,644 deaths), Spain (23,521 deaths) and New York (17,280 deaths).

Director of GBRC, CG Joshi told the Economic Times, “Analysis done by scientists abroad has shown that the L-type strain has been dominant where more mortality is reported among coronavirus patients. This strain was found to be more prevalent in Wuhan. Variation in coronavirus is in terms of number and percentage of mutations. As per the analysis, the L-type strain is dominant where more mortality is reported. Scientists have earlier found that this strain has caused more deaths.”

The Indian Express had reported Atul Patel, an infectious disease specialist at the Sterling Hospital, as saying that the mortality rate was low in Kerala because most of the patients came from Dubai which had the milder S-type strain. He had said, “L is the original Wuhan strain which is more pathogenic and leads to more severe disease and early death. After Wuhan, there was spontaneous mutation of the L strain, which converted to S strain, which is milder, less pathogenic.”

However, The Print reported Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, saying that there is no proof so far that “strains have anything to do with virulence”.

“Some clades are more prevalent in certain geographical regions than in others. But none of these seems to have any differences in clinical outcome, mortality, virulence, or transmissibility. No evidence that strains have anything to do with virulence or clinical severity. So far,” she told The Print.

Related:

Did PM skirt ICMR controversy in video conference with CMs?
Covid19: Recovered Tablighi Jamaat members will donate blood so plasma therapy can help others

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Archives