COVID-19: Delta Plus variant reported in THESE four states in India - Check details here

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 04:46 PM IST
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COVID-19: Delta Plus variant reported in THESE four states in India - Check details here | PIxabay

India has crossed the important milestone of a Covid positivity rate of less than 5 per cent for 15 consecutive days, conforming to the WHO's recommended requirement for a region to reopen, but experts are wary of declaring the devastating second wave over.

With 42,640 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the lowest in 91 days, and a positivity rate of 3.21 per cent, it would seem the present phase of the COVID-19 crisis is over and it is a good time to lift restrictions.

This optimistic picture, however, must be edged with abundant caution, said several scientists, citing the emergence of new variants, the still high absolute number of cases, the many districts where positivity rate remains over 5 per cent and concerns over reliability of data.

"With the current positivity rate at less than 5 per cent, India's COVID-19 second wave is on the wane as quickly as it rushed to its peak, but the end of it may yet be far away as more transmissible new variants such as Delta plus variant are emerging," said Naga Suresh Veerapu, associate professor at the School of Natural Sciences (SoNS), Shiv Nadar University, Delhi NCR.

The Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and considered one of the drivers of the second wave in the country and also in several others including the UK.

The Delta plus variant has been reported in four states as of now.

Maharashtra

Twenty one cases of the 'Delta plus' variant of COVID-19 have been found in Maharashtra so far, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said.

The highest nine cases were reported in Ratnagiri, followed by seven in Jalgaon, two in Mumbai, and one case each in Palghar, Thane and Sindhudurg districts, Tope told reporters on Monday.

The incidence of the Delta Plus variants comes close in the heels of the Mucormycosis or Black Fungus that the state is grappling with since the past couple of months.

So far, the state has tested over 7,500 and more are being collected at the rate of 100 per district for the Delta variants, said officials.

Kerala

At least three cases of Delta-plus variant have been found in samples collected from two Kerala districts- Palakkad and Pathanamthitta, officials said here on Monday.

Pathanamthitta district collector Dr Narasimhugari T L Reddy said a four-year-old boy from Kadapra panchayat in the district was found infected with the new Delta-plus variant.

The new variant was discovered in a genetic study of the boy's samples conducted at CSIR-IGIB (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi).

Madhya Pradesh

A 65-year-old woman has tested positive for the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus here, official sources said.

The development came even as the second wave of the pandemic is waning in Madhya Pradesh and restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the infection are being eased.

According to officials, the samples of the woman, who lives near a big medical facility, were collected on May 23. Reports received from the National Central for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday said she was positive for the 'Delta Plus' variant.

The woman, who has taken two shots of anti-coronavirus vaccine, recovered in home isolation, sources added.

Karnataka

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday that the state has reported two cases of Delta plus variant. He said that both the cases are mild and there is nothing to worry about.

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