Hyderabad: Nine cases of AY.4.2, a sub-variant of the Delta COVID19 strain, have been detected in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Seven cases with AY.4.2 strains have been found in Andhra, while two have been detected in Telangana, according to GISAID, an open-source database tracking the genomic signature of Coronavirus variants.

Seven sequences were collected between August 11 and September 9 from Andhra Pradesh and submitted by CCMB, Hyderabad. Two sequences were collected from Telangana between September 4 and September 11 and submitted by CDFD, Hyderabad.

These samples were collected between May and September 2021. A total of 19,466 sequences were submitted from India to GISAID during the same period.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday ensured that a government panel is currently looking into the new COVID-19 variant, with the intent to contain its spread. "A team is investigating the new COVID19 variant AY.4.2. ICMR and NCDC teams study and analyze the different variants," he said.

The earliest sample of AY.4.2 was collected from Jammu and Kashmir on May 29.

AY.4.2 has grown steadily in volume and now accounts for about 9 percent of UK cases in the last 28 days. It has also been observed in a few European nations like Denmark, Germany, and Ireland. British authorities have posited that AY.4.2 could possibly be even more transmissible than Delta, although there currently is no evidence suggesting that it caused more severe diseases or rendered vaccines ineffective.

As per data available on GISAID, the 17 samples of AY.4.2 found so far in India include seven in Andhra Pradesh, four in Kerala, two each in Telangana and Karnataka, and one each in Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir.

AY.4.2, which is a sub-lineage of the Delta variant of COVID-19, has been detected in the United Kingdom, China, and Russia

World Health Organisation (WHO) has also decided to classify the AY.4.2 as a `variant under investigation'. This COVID-19 virus is like to be called the "Nu" variant by the global health agency.

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