The highly-contagious Delta variant of Covid has been found to be present in about 77 per cent of samples from Assam that were sent for genome sequencing in April and May.
Speaking to the media in Guwahati today, state Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said, "We send 300 samples to a government-run laboratory in Kolkata every month for testing to identify any possible mutation in the virus. At least 77 per cent (of samples sent in April-May) have come up with the presence of the Delta variant," Mr Mahanta said.
The minister said only one person among those whose samples were sent for the genome sequencing has died.
Research has indicated that the Delta variant of Covid, first detected in India, is more transmissible and drove the second wave of Covid infections in the country that pushed up daily case counts and deaths. This variant has been listed as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. This variant has now further mutated to form 'Delta plus'.
Assam, meanwhile, has marked 247 neighbourhoods as containment zones after Covid cases spiked in these areas.
Biswanath, Goalpara and Morigaon districts and Bokakhat subdivision in Golaghat district have seen a spike in cases and will be placed under containment for a week starting Monday.
The state has relaxed the curfew in Kamrup Metro district, where Guwahati and capital Dispur is located, by an hour.
Assam today reported 2,793 new Covid cases and 26 deaths over the past 24 hours. Out of these, the Kamrup Metro district accounted for 165 cases.