Concerns mount as Delta Plus variant of coronavirus crops up in four states in India
The Delta variant, a mutated version of the novel coronavirus, the Delta Plus variant is now raising great concern in the nation. So far, cases of the Delta Plus variant have been reported in only four states: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.
While cases have been reported, enough samples have not yet been genome-sequenced to know how widespread the newly discovered Delta Plus variant is severe or not. About 200 sequences have been detected across the globe, of which 30 of them are found in India. The Union Health Ministry said last week that Delta Plus variant is not a “variant of concern” right now as it has not been conclusively proved that the strain poses "adverse consequences to humanity by increase in transmissibility and severity Or it reduces the efficacy of vaccines".
Health experts, however, have warned that the Delta Plus or AY.01 variant, which is a mutated version of the Delta variant, may unleash a third wave in the coming months in India, as it could possibly reduce the body’s immune system.
INSACOG -- a forum which sets up to sequence the novel coronavirus -- is currently studying the potential transmissibility and severity of the new variant and a detailed report is also expected shortly.