The highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirous, first detected in India in the month of February this year is a major cause of devastation during the second wave in India. The Delta Plus or AY.1 is a mutant form of Delta Variant. The latest World Health Organization (WHO) data reveals that it has spread to over 100 countries including United States, United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa and many more.
Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) statistics show that 67 per cent of India's 224 genome sequencing cases in the last four weeks are linked to the Delta variant. GISAID is a platform that tracks genomes in virus variants.
In India, Maharashtra is leading with the maximum number of Delta Plus cases. These cases were detected from Ratnagiri, Jalgaon, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar district and Sindhudurg district. Currently, there are 51 cases of Delta Plus around 12 states namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Rajasthan, Jammu, Karnataka and Haryana.
According to the Union Health Ministry, there were three reasons of concern regarding this variant. Those were that this variant has increased transmissibility, it strongly gets bonded with the receptors in the lung cells and it has a potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.
Dr Randeep Guleria, Director AIIMS, said that new Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus is extremely transmissible, and even walking next to a Covid-19 patient who is a carrier of this variant without a mask may lead to the spread of infection.This new variant has been named "The variant of concern" by the Central Government. It has also created a fear among the people as speculations were there that this variant is resistant to some vaccines.
Dr Randeep Guleria, Director AIIMS, said that new Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus is extremely transmissible, and even walking next to a Covid-19 patient who is a carrier of this variant without a mask may lead to the spread of infection.
However, he said that if Covid appropriate behavior is followed then we can stay safe against the new emerging variant. There isn't much data on Delta plus variant which suggest that it is more harmful, he added.