Delta Plus variant: 22 cases detected in India so far; still not a variant of concern, says govt

The central government notified on Tuesday that so far, two cases of the Delta Plus variant have been detected in the country. According to Federal Minister of Health Rajesh Bhushan, 16 of the 22 cases occurred in Ratnagiri and Jalgaon (Maharashtra), and some cases occurred in Kerala Labang and Madhya Pradesh.



Bhushan said in a media statement that the Delta Plus variant has also been found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia. However, he added that Delta variants have been found in 80 countries.

The union health secretary further claimed that Indian vaccines, both Covishield and Covaxin are effective against the Delta variant. "But to what extent & what's the proportion of antibody titers that they produce, that we would share with you shortly," he added.

However, yesterday Maharashtra State Health Minister Rajesh Tope stated that 21 cases of highly infectious Covid-19 Delta Plus variants have been detected in the state.
Topp said yesterday that Ratnagiri reported the most 9 cases, followed by Jalgaon with 7 cases, Mumbai with 2 cases, and Pargar, Tana and Sindudurg districts with 1 case each.
Recently, World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that the Delta variant is "well on its way" to becoming the dominant variant globally.

The new Delta plus variant was formed due to the mutation of Delta or the B.1.617.2 variant, which was first discovered in India and was one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. Although there is no indication that the new variant is causing the severity of the disease, it is reported that Delta plus is resistant to the recently approved COVID-19 monoclonal antibody cocktail therapy in India.

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