Delta plus variant cases in India: The highly transmissible Delta or ‘B.1.617.2 variant’ of SARS-CoV-2 has mutated further and formed ‘Delta plus’ or ‘AY.1’ variant. This new variant was first identified in India, however, it wasn’t widespread. While India continues from the destruction caused by the second wave, concerns are now being raised about containing the Delta plus variant.
According to a report by Livehindustan, Delta plus variant or B.1.617.2.1, is touted to be the most dangerous variant of COVID-19, may be capable of evading both immunity from vaccination as well as that generated from earlier infections.
Delta plus variant cases in India: Three states that have detected Delta plus variant so far- Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope revealed on June 21 that at least 21 cases of the Delta plus variant have been found in samples collected from Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri, Jalgaon, Mumbai, Palghar, Sindhudurg and Thane. There is no cause of concern as experts said more samples have been sent for genome sequencing to understand if the variant is dominant or scattered. Meanwhile, Tope said the Maharashtra government has started the process of taking 100 samples from each district, adding the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) is being involved in this process.
Kerala government officials also told news agency PTI on Monday that while the cases are falling in the state, the presence of the Delta plus variant has been found in samples collected from Palakkad and Pathanamth districts. The first case of Delta plus variant in India was reported in a 65-year-old woman from Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal.
As per several reports, the new variant is currently a “variant of interest”, and hasn’t been classified as a “variant of concern” yet. According to India Today, One of India’s top virologists and former member of the INSACOG, Professor Shahid Jameel noted that there is no evidence that Delta Plus is more transmissible. However, it may soon grow to evade COVID-19 vaccines and even immunity gained from previous infections, he also warned. More on COVID-19 Delta plus variant here.
Feature Image Credit: Scripps.org
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