The Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoH) of the Union Ministry of Health on Friday asked Gujarat Chief Secretary (CS) Anil Mukim to adopt immediate containment measures in Surat district, where the new variant of the Delta variant — the Delta Plus — has been found.
After the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus was found in two victims in Gujarat on Friday, Rajesh Bhushan (IAS), from the DOH, has written to Mukim to take immediate containment measures in Surat and other places where clusters of Delta variant have been found.
Besides, one of the infected was found to be from Surat, but according to the information available, even the Maharashtra administration found that out of the total 20 persons identified in Maharashtra to be infected with Delta Plus variant, two had a travel history to Surat.
Indian SARS-CoV-2Genomics Consortium (INASCOG), the consortium of laboratories, has been entrusted to not only carry out the whole genome sequencing of the coronavirus and its variants, but also has been told to give timely inputs on appropriate public health response in regions where the variant has been found.
Bhushan has said that INASCOG has informed that the Delta Plus has following characteristics like increased transmissibility, stronger bonding to receptors of lung cells and potential reproduction in monoclonal antibody response. The consortium has also informed that the variant has been found in Surat.
The Gujarat CS has been instructed to take immediate containment measures like preventing gathering of crowds and inter mingling of people, carry out widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccination on a priority basis.
It is also requested to ensure adequate samples of Delta Plus positive persons are sent to the designated laboratories of INASCOG promptly, so that clinical epidemiological co-relationships can be established.