INDIA. Mumbai: While the country is still battling with COVID-19, over 40 cases of its Delta Plus variant, have been detected in eight Indian states, with Maharashtra topping the list with 21 infected patients in seven districts of the state.
After nearly 3400 samples were tested, 9 patients were found in Ratnagiri and 7 patients were detected in Jalgaon, two patients in Mumbai and one each in Palghar, Sindhudurg and Thane, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday. Briefing media, he said that at present its percentage is 0.005. But if it spreads, it could be fatal. The detection of Delta Plus-affected patients is a cause of concern since the variant can affect antibodies and can immunity. The variant was first detected in Amravati in Vidarbha. However, now there is not a single patient in that district.
The cases of Delta Plus variant are not limited to Kerala, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh but are expanded to states including Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu, and Karnataka. 21 cases have been detected in Madhya Pradesh, six in Kerala, three in Tamil Nadu, two in Karnataka and one case each in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu.
The Union health ministry has asked states to be vigilant and focus on curbing the spread of infection and has written a letter to the states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh regarding the preparedness on this variant. The ministry has released an advisory on the kind of public health response that Maharashtra, MP, and Kerala should initiate to address this issue which “presently looks fairly small in terms of number but we would not want this to assume significant proportions”.
The Delta plus variant is also called B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 strain. It is being said that the Delta Plus variant is resistant to the monoclonal antibodies cocktail. With the second wave slowing down, most states and Union Territories are reopening and easing restrictions which may lead to the rapid transmission of the virus. The Delta Plus variant of the COVID-19 variant has been found in nine countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China, and Russia.
Meanwhile, the Centre has alerted Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh and asked the states to take up immediate containment measures, enhanced testing, tracking, and vaccination in districts and clusters where the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 is found.
On Wednesday, the Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally stood at: 10,066 new cases, 11,032 recoveries and 163 deaths. Total cases till now: 59,97,587, Total recoveries 57,53,290. Death toll 1,19,303, Active cases 1,21,859.
India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the 3-crore mark with one crore infections being added in 50 days. The total tally mounted to 3,00,28,709, with 50,848 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day. The death toll climbed to 3,90,660 with 1,358 fresh fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.