Gujarat: According to healthcare experts, the high fatality rate in Gujarat could be due to the prevalence of the L-type strain of the coronavirus in the State, the strain that is responsible for the high mortality rate in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak first surfaced, as per a report.

The dominance of the perniciousL-type coronavirus strain, which is more lethal than the S-type one, could be behind the high mortality rate in the State, which has reported 133 deaths so far. However, no research has been conducted to corroborate the claim, experts said to the media.

A scientist at the State-run Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), said that the novel coronavirus used for genome sequencing conducted by it was found to contain the L-type strain.

“Analysis done by scientists abroad has shown that the L-type strain has been dominant where more mortality is reported among coronavirus patients. This strain was found to be more prevalent in Wuhan,” CG Joshi, director of GBRC, said. “The coronavirus sample we collected from a patient for genome sequence contained the L-type strain. This strain has a much higher virulence as compared to the S-strain,” he said.

Variation in coronavirus is in terms of number and percentage of mutations.The GBRC has successfully decoded the entire genome sequence of the novel coronavirus and spotted its three new mutations.

Joshi added that the patient from whom the virus sample was collected for sequencing has fully recovered. So far, no study has been done to establish which strain of coronavirus is more prominent in patients in Gujarat.

However, Atul Patel, a specialist in infectious disease, said that a little higher presence of the L-type strain, or the original Wuhan strain, could be behind a higher death rate in the State.

Other reasons

The State government has also attributed the high mortality among coronavirus patients in the State to co-morbidities and high-risk factors.

Heart and lung diseases, diabetes, and hypertension are among common diseases that have been found among Covid-19 patients deceased in Gujarat.

The risk factors include patients in the age group of above 60 years and under five years of age and pregnant women, and they account for 90 per cent of patients who passed away, Principal Secretary (Health), Jayanti Ravi had recently said.