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Delta Plus advances in Maharashtra: 5 deaths, 66 cases from coronavirus variant

Covid-19: Of the five deaths from the Delta Plus coronavirus variant reported in Maharashtra, two are from the Ratnagiri district while one each has been recorded from Mumbai, Beed, and Raigad, respectively.
A healthcare worker collects a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test swab sample from a man. (File Photo / REUTERS)
Updated on Aug 14, 2021 10:52 AM IST
Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Maharashtra health department has said five people have died from the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus and as many as 66 cases have been detected in the state so far. The department said on Friday that a revision in the state's Covid-19 infection tally was made after a fresh case of the Delta Plus variant was detected from the Thane district a day before.

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Of the five deaths from the Delta Plus variant reported in Maharashtra, two are from the Ratnagiri district while one each has been recorded from Mumbai, Beed, and Raigad. Of the 66 patients down with the Delta Plus variant of the virus, seven were aged under 18, the PTI news agency reported.

An 80-year-old woman from Ratnagiri was the first person in the state to succumb to the Delta Plus variant, followed by a 63-year-old fully-vaccinated woman from Mumbai.

Although the Mumbai woman had taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, she tested positive for the coronavirus. A resident of the suburban Ghatkopar area, she died on July 27 in the ICU of a hospital. Authorities detected the Delta Plus variant in her case on August 11, over an entire fortnight after her death.

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According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), at least two close contacts of the victim were also found infected with the same variant.

The PTI news agency reports that of all the Delta Plus patients in Maharashtra, the maximum belongs to Jalgaon (13) in the northern part of the state, followed by Ratnagiri (12) and Mumbai (11).

Genomic sequencing

The Delta Plus variant, considered highly infectious, was detected during the genomic sequencing, a very important component of lab surveys for coronavirus cases, that the state government is conducting on a regular basis as part of its pandemic control measure.

Under the sentinel survey as part of Covid-19 genomic sequencing, each ‘sentinel centre' in the state selected for the study sends 15 laboratory samples each fortnight to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and the National Institute of Cell Science in Pune. As many as five laboratories and hospitals all across Maharashtra have been selected for the purpose of conducting the sentinel survey for genomic sequencing.

The Maharashtra government is also reported to have entered into an agreement with the Institute of Genomics and Integrated Biology, a laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, to expedite the genetic sequencing survey.

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