Health has detected in the department of Elche the first case of Indian strain found in the province of Alicante, as confirmed to this newspaper up to four different health sources. Is about a person who has recently traveled to Madrid, where he could contract the disease, since in this city the presence of the Indian strain is more extensive. The patient is progressing well and his environment is currently being studied in case there are more cases of this variant, although in principle it would be a isolated and fully controlled case.
The Indian strain is having an increasing presence in Spain. According to the variant report published weekly by the Ministry of Health, in the last week they have been notified three outbreaks of this variant in different areas of Spain. One with 13 cases without travel ties, another with three cases related to a trip to Dubai and another with 23 cases originating from a case imported from Poland. The previous week, five outbreaks were reported and in the city of Valencia an outbreak was detected in mid-May among the seven crew members of a ship.
The danger of this variant is, according to the Ministry of Health, its possible escape from immunity and that it is associated “with a moderate increase in transmissibility ‘. A “slight decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines” against the disease has also been detected. This strain is already the majority in neighboring countries such as the United Kingdom, where in recent weeks there has been a rebound in cases and hospitalizations, which It has led other countries like Germany to shield themselves from British tourism. The same is not the case with Spain, which has recently opened its borders to tourist flights with this country without the need for a diagnostic test.
At the General Hospital of Elche, the first case of the British strain found in the Valencian Community and the first of the South African strain were also detected at the end of December. And it is that this health center, together with the General Hospital of Alicante, is part of the network of laboratories with the ability to genetically sequence covid samples to find mutations, within the SeqCcovid project.
A network that in recent weeks has redoubled efforts to increase sequencing capacity and anticipate any virus changes that can appear and trigger the number of infections.
Sources from the SeqCovid project explained this week that the Valencian Community is already sequencing 10% of coronavirus samples to detect new mutations. When the national sequencing network, in December, this figure was 2%. According to the same sources, at the moment the Valencian Community is, together with the Balearic and Canary Islands, the one that carries out the most covid sequencing. In its strategy, the Ministry of Health requires that between 1% and 2% of all covid cases that appear in a territory be sequenced weekly, despite the fact that the European Union recommends that it be done on 10% of all samples for control variants and therefore a possible increase in infections. In this way, the Valencian Community would already be complying with that recommendation of the European Union.
Samples of patients from the Emergency and Primary Care services of the rest of the health departments arrive periodically at the two designated laboratories in the province.
According to the latest traces made by this network, the British strain, the majority until a few weeks ago, begins to lose weight in the Valencian Community and is currently behind 64.5% of infections. As for the Brazilian and South African strains, their weight at the moment is 5.6% of all coronavirus cases.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.