The Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) has confirmed new variants of the coronavirus, including the Alpha and Delta variants.
HEOC spokesman Dr Nazla Rafeeq revealed this during Tuesday’s Covid-19 press conference, adding that samples had been sent three times for gene sequencing. Noting that 30 samples were sent each time – swabs taken from locals and strangers – Nazla said the results of the last batch have since been received.
She said that although 20 percent of the samples tested positive for the Alpha variant which was first discovered in the UK last December, the most dominant strain in the country according to sequencing is the Delta variant. ; 27 percent tested positive for the strain first discovered in India.
Noting that the latter is the fastest spreading variant in India, Nazla revealed that the samples tested positive for other variants as well. This includes the viral clades G (13%), GR (three percent) and the secondary lineage (Peru / Chile -10%). The remaining 27 percent were other variations.
The HEOC spokesperson stressed that the most dangerous strain of Covid-19 had been discovered in the Maldives, adding that it was due to displacement within and within the country.
Dr Nazla also revealed that they will continue their efforts to send more samples overseas for sequencing in the future with help from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Maldives saw an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases in April, which has been confirmed as a fourth wave. With more than 1,000 new cases per day, the number of deaths has also increased. May saw the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single month, 88 deaths, while 111 were confirmed between April 28 and June 5.
This led to the strengthening of Covid-19 security measures across the country, particularly the epicenter of the capital Male ‘City in mid-May. While reported daily cases and hospitalizations have since declined, recoveries continue to increase.