48 Cases of Delta Plus Variant Reported in India
New Delhi: Tension escalated across the nation after 48 Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 cases identified in 11 states. The maximum number of cases reported in Maharashtra. According to the official reports, a resident of Tirumalareddy Nagar in Tirupati tested positive for the Delta Plus variant and discharged after the treatment.
It needs to around 10 days to get the test results to identify the variant. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Jammu registered Delta Plus variant cases. Three deaths reported due to the variant. Experts saying vaccination is the best way to fight against the Delta Plus variant.
Delta Plus cases, still a low number, are emerging as large parts of India are ending severe lockdowns and restrictions with Covid cases on the decline after a fierce second wave ambushed the nation’s health infrastructure in April-May.
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.
“Currently the number of such Delta plus variants in India are only few but the distribution or detection in various states during past two months indicate that it is already present in some states and states may need to enhance their public health response by focusing on surveillance, enhanced testing, quick contact-tracing and priority vaccination,” it says.
Very little is known about this strain, which is now in nine countries — the US, the UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Russia and China besides India.
According to the government, the Delta Plus, much like the Delta strain that has spread to 80 countries, is highly infectious and fast spreading.
According to INSACOG, the Delta Plus shows “increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potentially reduced monoclonal antibody response”.
It may also show resistance to existing treatment protocol for Covid, experts worry. There are concerns over whether current vaccines will be effective against the Delta Plus.
The government said while the two vaccines being used in India, Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, are effective against the Delta variant, data on how they work on the Delta Plus would be shared later.