The Delta Plus variant of Covid-19, a new viral variant of the coronavirus, was identified on June 11. 51 cases of Delta Plus have been detected across 12 states, with Maharashtra reporting the maximum cases of this variant.
A total of four deaths have been reported in India due to this new variant.
The Health Ministry has said that the Genome sequencing of every Delta Plus variant case is necessary to determine if it is reinfection or a vaccine failure.
Director-General of ICMR, Dr. Balram Bhargava has also explained the effectiveness of current vaccines on the Delta Plus variant.
“Very recently we have cultured the delta plus variant, and now we are testing in the laboratory whether the vaccine are effective against the delta plus variant,” ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava said.
Even as concerns over the Delta Plus variant remain high in the country, senior health experts in the country are at loss to conclusively estimate the danger posed by the mutation to the Indian population.
Raman Gangakhedkar, ex-Head Scientist of Epidemiology & communicable diseases, ICMR, has also explained the transmissibility of this variant.
“Delta has spread a lot & is a Variant of Concern. Since it is a Variant of Concern, you’ve to also treat Delta Plus as a Variant of Concern”, says Dr. Gangakhedkar.
Focussing on the fears of the third wave of COVID-19 and the emergence of the Delta Plus variant, experts have even talked about some misconceptions.
Dr. Samiran Panda, head of the epidemiology department at the Indian Council of Medical Research said only 49 cases of the variant have been reported from 10 states across the country. He said this does not indicate that the third wave of Covid-19 has begun and called it the onset of the third wave would be misleading.