Covid-19: India declares Delta Plus 'variant of concern'; warns 3 states

Mumbai - The centre urged people to avoid large gatherings and maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour.



By Web Report

Published: Wed 23 Jun 2021, 7:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jun 2021, 8:35 AM

With a new Covid variant being detected in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, the Indian government has gone in for a significant change in risk appraisal, from ‘variant of interest’ to ‘variant of concern.’

The centre urged people to avoid large gatherings and maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour. The new variant was found in 22 samples in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Jalgaon districts in Maharashtra, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta in Kerala and Bhopal and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh.

The government has directed immediate containment measures including preventing crowds being formed, intermingling of people, prompt contact tracing and extensive testing.

“Broadly speaking, both Covishield and Covaxin are effective against the Delta variant,” said Rajesh Bhushan, the health secretary. However, the new variant, Delta-plus (also known as AY.1 variant or B.1.617.2.1) is seen as one of the most dangerous Covid-19 variants.

The Delta-plus variant was detected during genome sequencing of samples by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), a group of 10 national laboratories. In March, genome sequencing by the consortium revealed variants of concern and a novel variant in India.

Experts have warned that the new variant could be more dangerous and could trigger off the third-wave in India.


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