The Delta plus variant of coronavirus is presently not a "variant of concern" for the World Health Organisation (WHO), Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan told NDTV on Thursday. She added the infection numbers due to the Delta plus variant are still low. However, it has been classified as a "variant of concern" by the Indian government last month. Incidentally, Delta plus cases have been detected in 12 states in the country.
Meanwhile, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, on Thursday said that there is not much data available on the Delta plus variant to suggest that it is more infective or has a higher rate of mortality. He advised that if people follow COVID appropriate behaviour and take the COVID-19 vaccination, then they will be safe against any emerging variant.
"There isn't much data on Delta plus variant to suggest it's more infectious, causing more deaths, or has developed significant immune escape mechanism. But if we follow COVID appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated, we'll be safe against any of emerging variants," Dr Guleria told news agency ANI.
Earlier, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) head Dr NK Arora said that the Delta plus variant of COVID-19 has a greater affinity towards lung problems though it does not mean that it can cause major disease or has higher transmissibility, news agency PTI reported.
"Delta Plus is having greater affinity to mucosal lining in the lungs, higher compared to other variants, but if it causes damage or not is not clear yet," he told PTI.
Globally, more than 12 countries have detected Delta plus cases.