40 cases of Delta Plus Covid variant have been found in India. It is to be noted that the government has tagged it as Variant of Concern”.
Out of the 40 cases, 21 cases of the new strain have been found in Maharashtra, six in Madhya Pradesh, three each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, two in Karnataka and one each in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu, according to sources.
The genome seuencing samples confirmed the presence of Delta Plus variant, a mutation of the Delta strain or B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India.
The situation has arisen on the heels of several states ending lockdown restrictions on the account of decling COVID-19 cases.
Although the cases of delta variant are low, the Ministry alerted the three states to take precautionary measures. he Chief Secretaries of Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh has been advised to take up immediate containment measures in different districts and clusters, including preventing crowds, widespread testing, prompt tracing and vaccine coverage.
INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia), a consortium of 28 labs tasked with genome sequencing of the virus causing Covid, says properties of the Delta Plus are still being investigated. It is characterized by a mutation in the spike protein, which helps the virus gain entry into human cells.
According to the government, the Delta Plus, much like the Delta strain that has spread to 80 countries, is highly infectious and fast spreading. It also has properties of increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.
(With IANS inputs)