Mumbai In an alarming discovery, two of the 21 Covid-19 samples from across Maharashtra in which the Delta-plus variant has been found are from Mumbai. The announcement was made by state health minister Rajesh Tope on Monday.
However, more samples have been sent for genome sequencing to understand whether the new variant is dominant or scattered. “Since May 15, 7,500 samples have been collected across Maharashtra. So far, the Delta-plus variant has been found in 21 samples in Maharashtra, of which nine are from Ratnagiri, seven from Jalgaon, two from Mumbai and one each from Sindhudurg, Palghar and Thane," said Tope.
Tope further added that the state government has sought travel history of the index cases, and details on whether the patients had taken the Covid-19 vaccine or were reinfected after taking the vaccine.
“All details about index cases are being collated. Moreover, all high and low-risk contacts of these index cases are being traced,” he said. The Delta-plus, formed by mutation in the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is currently a “variant of interest”, and hasn’t been classified yet as a “variant of concern” by the Union health ministry. In April, the state government signed an MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) to sequence 100 Covid-positive samples each from 36 districts per month. Dr Rahul Pandit, who is a member of the state task force, said, “Every new variant of interest can become a variant of concern so they must be contained and nipped in the bud.