According to the Centre, the Delta Plus type of coronavirus has spread to 12 states throughout the country, with Maharashtra reporting the most cases with 22. The government stated that there are now 51 cases of Delta Plus, emphasising that the number is extremely small and that there is no evidence of an upward trend.
Head of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), there are only a few examples of the Delta Plus mutation. Maharashtra has 22 cases of the Delta Plus type of coronavirus, with nine cases in Tamil Nadu, seven in Madhya Pradesh, three in Kerala, two each in Punjab and Gujarat, and one case each in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, and Karnataka, according to Sujeet Singh.
On Friday, during a health ministry briefing, Singh said, “There are nearly 50 cases that are found in 12 districts and this has happened in the last three months. It cannot be said that in any district or state it is showing an increasing trend. Till the time we don’t correlate this, we will not say this is a rising trend because its mutations are the same as Delta variant.”
Over 45,000 samples have been sequenced throughout the country so far, and 51 Delta Plus instances have been identified.
The Delta Plus variety, according to Singh, is a Delta variant with an extra mutation – B.1.617.2.1. He went on to say that the K417N genetic variant was acquired in the background of Variant of Concern (VoC) Delta (B.1.617.2) and that K417N is of public concern because it is also present in Variant of Concern Beta (B.1.351).
“This does not mean…that severity of transmission is more or lead to more severe disease. If scientific evidence does (suggest) that then we will definitely let you know,” he said adding that since the Delta variant is already a Variant of Concern, its sub-lineage can also be called a VoC.
The Delta variant is found in more than 50% of the samples sequenced in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana, and West Bengal, according to Singh.
Coronavirus variants of concern have been detected in 174 districts across 35 states and territories, with Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, West Bengal, and Gujarat having the largest number of such cases, according to Singh. He further added that the proportion of Covid-19 instances with variations of concern increased from 10.31% in May to 51% on June 20.
Balaram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said the Delta Plus type has now been documented in 12 countries and has been detected in 12 states in India, but is quite localised.
“Delta Plus variant has also been isolated and cultured at ICMR-NIV and laboratory tests to check vaccine effect on Delta Plus variant. We should have these results within 7-10 days whether the vaccine is working against the Delta Plus,” Bhargava said.
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