On Friday, the government of Uttar Pradesh released the genetic information of the first batch of the SARS-CoV-2 virus carried out at the King George Medical University in Lucknow.

A total of 109 samples were observed out of which 107 were examined to be the fatal and widespread Delta Variant while the other two were the Kappa Variant.

While the former is widely talked about because it is the most dominant currently, among the Indian citizens, the Kappa variant is not a matter of discussion much. But that is only because it used to be known by a different name earlier. Only a few weeks ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave it the name Kappa. By now, its presence in the Indian population has declined.

So, what are the Delta and Kappa variants of Covid-19?

What is 'Kappa' Variant And How Severe Is It?

The Delta and Kappa forms of Covid-19 are actually interrelated and are siblings, the direct successors of a variant that was earlier used to be known as the double mutant, or B.1.617. Earlier, the predecessor of coronavirus was referred to by the name of the nation from where they first were emerged. Thus, it was called by names such as “UK variant”, “South Africa variant”, and “Brazil variant”, while the double mutant was called the “India variant”. To end the criteria linking viruses to specific countries, which was giving rise to blame game, the WHO named these variants after the letters of the Greek alphabet at the end of May.

But it was too late and by that time, the double mutant variant had already mutated further into three different variants, which were referred to as B.1.617,1, B.1.617.2, and B.1.617.3.

The B.1.617.1 was named Kappa, while the B.1.617.2 became Delta. No specific name was given to the B.1.617.3 because it was not so widespread. The variant that emerged in the UK was termed Alpha; the variant first reported in South Africa became Beta; while the “Brazil variant” was named Gamma. These names were given only for easy reference in public discussions.

 The Kappa variant was found in a few samples in UP. It has been present in India for many months now.

Also Read: After Delta Plus variant, UP confirms mutation of new ‘Kappa’ variant as one patient died of it

Is Kappa Variant a cause of concern?

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The officials present in Uttar Pradesh said that the Kappa Variant was detected in some samples which were collected from the same province earlier also and is not a matter of concern.

The state’s Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Amit Mohan Prasad said, “These are not a new variant so not of concern for us. We have had cases of Kappa variant since April and there is nothing to worry about”

Previously also, the Kappa variant was announced as a less dangerous type of Covid-19 than the widespread Delta variant by the state of Uttar Pradesh. This is another reason why slowly and steadily the cases of Delta variant are decreasing.

 According to the sources, the main cause of the second wave was the Delta Variant. The double mutant was first detected from samples in Vidarbha. The B.1.617’s outbreak was faster than any other mutant which was found previously.

As a matter of fact, the WHO, Kappa variant is recognized only as a “variant of interest”, while the Delta variant is a “variant of concern” determining that it is a far bigger threat

The Delta variant initially began in Maharashtra but it did spread in most of the other states in a short interval. The Kappa variant was also being discovered but its pervasiveness is far less than that of the former.

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