A resident gets inoculated against Covid-19 with a dose of the Covishield, in Mumbai on Tuesday.(AFP Photo)
A resident gets inoculated against Covid-19 with a dose of the Covishield, in Mumbai on Tuesday.(AFP Photo)

Delta Plus cases above 50 now, says govt; Punjab extends Covid-19 curbs

The Delta Plus variant has been designated as ‘variant of concern’ by the government. The cases have been rising steadily, with the highest number recorded from Maharashtra.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUN 29, 2021 05:19 PM IST

The government on Tuesday said that the number of Delta Plus variant cases in the country have gone above 50. The fast-spreading variant is a mutated form of Delta which emerged in India.

“A total of 51 Delta plus variant cases reported in India,” the officials of Union health ministry said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The Punjab government has taken cognisance of the rising number of Delta Plus cases and extended the coronavirus restrictions till July 10. However, more relaxations such as opening of bars and pubs with 50 per cent capacity have been given.

The orders will come into effect from July 1, the state government said. The decision was taken after a high-level review meeting chaired by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Maharashtra government too has started preparing for the expected third wave of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) with the particular focus on protecting children. Maharashtra has the highest number of Delta Plus cases in the country.

The Delta Plus variant is an offshoot of the highly infectious Delta variant that caused a spike in cases in April and May which overwhelmed healthcare facilities, swamping crematoriums.

The variant shows more resistance to some vaccines and therapies generally used to treat Covid-19. India has already declared Delta Plus as ‘variant of concern’.

However, Niti Aayog member and Covid task force chief Dr VK Paul has said that there is no scientific data so far to establish that the new variant reduces vaccine efficacy.

"The so-called Delta plus variant exhibits an additional mutation in the Delta variant and since this is a new variant, scientific knowledge is still in the early stage,” he said on Monday.

Meanwhile, India’s daily fresh cases of Covid have come down from four lakhs during the peak of the second wave to around 50,000 in the past few days and the unlock process or lifting of restrictions is underway in many parts of the country.

On Tuesday, it further dropped to below 40,000.

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