A crowded market is seen in Navi Mumbai, on Wednesday ahead of Vat Purnima festival. Maharashtra has recorded 21 cases of Delta Plus variant of coronavirus.(HT Photo)
A crowded market is seen in Navi Mumbai, on Wednesday ahead of Vat Purnima festival. Maharashtra has recorded 21 cases of Delta Plus variant of coronavirus.(HT Photo)

Delta Plus more virulent, Maha cases not falling below 8,000 a concern: Minister

The Delta Plus variant is a mutated form of the Delta virus first found in India. It has already been declared as a 'variant of concern' by the central government.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUN 24, 2021 10:25 AM IST

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope has said the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus could be more virulent than other variants. He was citing a study to say that the severity of Delta Plus could be higher.

The minister's remarks came as Maharashtra recorded 21 cases of Delta Plus variant. Tope said a separate hospital ward is formed for such patients.

“These are the index cases of Delta Plus variant and its severity could be higher. The study of this variant has indicated that it could be more virulent compared to the previous mutants,” Tope said on Wednesday. He said 100 samples each from 36 districts of Maharashtra have been taken and sent for genome sequencing.

The minister also expressed concern over the number of daily cases not falling below 8,000.

“It is a matter of concern for the state as the number of fresh (daily) Covid-19 cases is not dropping below 8,000. In the last 7 to 8 days, the state has been adding around 7,000 to 8,000 new Covid-19 cases per day but the number is not going down,” said Tope.

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported more than 10,000 Covid-19 cases after a gap of one week, taking its tally to 59,97,587, according to state health department bulletin.

The new Delta Plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. Though there is no indication yet of the severity of the disease due to the new variant, Delta Plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for Covid-19 recently authorised in India.

Some cases of the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus have also been found in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. The Centre has already declared the Delta Plus variant as 'variant of concern'.

So far, 40 samples across the country have been found infected with the Delta Plus variant.

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