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Covid-19: India declares Delta Plus a ‘variant of concern’

  • Published at 05:09 pm June 22nd, 2021
India begins inoculating all adults with free shots
A health worker inoculates a woman with a jab of Covishield's Covid-19 Coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination Centre in New Delhi on June 21, 2021 AFP

The Delta Plus variant is transmissible even in fleeting encounters with Covid-19 patients

The Indian central government on Tuesday declared the Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 as a “variant of concern,” upgrading its status from “variant of interest.”

The change in status of the vaccine was announced through a press release from the Union Health Ministry, reports India Today.

A variant of concern is defined as variant of a virus that poses adverse consequences for humanity due to higher transmissibility and severity, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Delta Plus variant is transmissible even in fleeting encounters with Covid-19 patients, according to All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) chief Randeep Guleria as quoted in India today.

The Union Health Ministry has advised Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh to increase efforts to contain, test and track Covid-19 in areas where the Delta Plus variant has been detected. 

Also read- icddr,b: Delta variant detected in over half of Dhaka's Covid patients

The ministry also advised to send samples to designated Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium (INSACOG) laboratories for genome sequencing.

India on Tuesday recorded 29,234 new Covid-19 cases and 393 new deaths. The total number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 30,002,691 with an overall death toll of 389,661. 

Health authorities in Bangladesh on Tuesday imposed strict lockdowns in seven districts, including four surrounding the capital Dhaka, to isolate the city from a wave of Covid-19 in border districts believed to be caused by the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Genome sequencing in a study by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) from the last week of May till the first week of June found that 68% of samples matched the Delta variant of Covid-19.

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