NITI Aayog member VK Paul said that the newly found ‘Delta Plus’ variant is not yet classified as Variant of Concern (VOC).
It was observed in Europe in March and was notified to the public on June 13 this month.
“The present status is that yes, a new variant has been found. This is as of now a Variant of Interest (VoI), not as yet classified a VoC,” Paul clarified it in a Covid-19 media briefing.
Paul said that that there is a need to carefully watch the effect of the variant in a scientific manner.
“We need to monitor it through The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) in order to assess and detect its potential presence and growth in our country. This is the way forward in relation to the virus,” Paul said.
He emphasised that VOC has ‘adverse consequences to humanity’ due to its increased transmission and virulence, but not much is known about the new variant to be classified as such.
Paul further said that since these variants cannot be removed from existence, it can only be tackled through COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
“Remember that there is no way that we can shoot these variants away, to use any precision weapon to ensure that they don’t appear in future. What we need to do is to monitor, understand their behaviour and mount an appropriate response, being conscious of their effects on us. The appropriate response includes the same principles, namely containment measures and Covid appropriate behaviour.” he said.
Along the same line, he said, an additional mutation has been detected, which has also been submitted to the Global Data System. “This has been referred to as the ‘Delta Plus’ or ‘AY.1’ variant.”
With the continued slide in daily new Covid cases, India’s active caseload on Wednesday stood at 8,65,432 — a decline below the nine lakh mark after 70 days.
A net decline of 47,946 is witnessed in the last 24 hours and active cases are now only 2.92 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, reveals the latest data of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
India continues to report a sustained slide in the daily new Covid-19 cases with its fresh 24 hours report showing 62,224 cases. Less than 1 lakh daily new cases have been reported for nine consecutive days now.
(With IANS inputs)