Delta Plus Variant Case Reported in MP Too
Madhya Pradesh reported the first death case due to the Delta Plus variant. Five persons tested positive for the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus in state and one among them died.
The remaining four persons received Covid-19 vaccine doses and recovered from the virus.
The woman from Ujjain who passed away was not received the vaccine.
The deceased was tested positive for Covid-19 on May 17 and died on May 23. The state government said that soon a genome sequencing machine will be installed in the state.
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.