Australia – Delta Covid19 variant detected in Victoria
Australia’s Victoria state authorities said on Friday genomic sequencing has detected for the first time the Delta Covid-19 virus variant among infections in the latest virus outbreak in state capital, Melbourne. Two, so far, Victoria cases have the so-called ‘Delta’ variant of concern, which is likely the strain that caused the latest devastating wave of Covid-19 in India.
The strain that has been associated with the Victorian outbreak to date, and which first leaked from hotel quarantine in South Australia last month, is known as Kappa.
The Genomic sequencing revealed has shown there’s now a group of seven cases in Melbourne from another strain, called Delta. Both Kappa, also known as B.1.617.1, and Delta, also called B.1.617.2, are considered subtypes of what’s been referred to as the Indian variant — B.1.617.
The Delta variant of COVID-19, or the B1.617.2 highly transmissible variant of concern (VOC) first identified in India, has now become the dominant VOC in the UK as infections rose by 5,472 in a week to hit a total of 12,431, health officials in Britain said
Other well-known variants include a UK variant that was detected in September last year, now being called Alpha, and a variant from South Africa that was detected last May that’s now being called Beta. Three subtypes, or sublineages, of the Indian variant, including both Kappa and Delta, have spike protein mutations that have been associated with increased transmissibility.
Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, is battling to contain its latest outbreak – 65 cases since May 24 – after more than three months of no cases, placing tough restrictions on movement of people and shutting down large parts of its economy. The government has linked all the cases to a single traveler released from quarantine after testing negative.
More than 4.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in Australia, which has an adult population of about 20 million.