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New cases of Delta-plus variant found in India

New Delhi: Amid concerns of an oncoming third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, many mutants, double mutant and triple mutant variants of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus have developed over the past one and a half years since the outbreak in China, which crippled life and healthcare systems across the world.

The top officials in India said that, now, the Delta variant has mutated further to form a Delta-plus or ‘AY.1’ variant, and had already infected 20 people across the country.

According to the media report, Dr. Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control, said, ‘We have found 15-20 cases of Delta-plus from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh, among other states. We need to watch it closely, although for now, Delta remains the dominant and stronger variant.’

As part of its study, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) attempts to determine the extent to which the Delta-plus variant is severe or transmissible. In Europe, the strain has been discovered since March but was brought to public notice only on June 13.

By June 7, India had reported six cases of the Delta-plus variant. Maharashtra had listed five Delta-plus cases in Ratnagiri in May, but in early June, more sample reports indicated three more infections.

The World Health Organization has classified the Delta variant as a ‘Variant of Concern’. The variant was reported most frequently among adolescents above 12 years (81%) compared to children (19%).

Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said that the Delta variant is supposed to become the dominant strain in America


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