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Delta troublesome, Delta Plus few, Lambda worrying: A doctor's take on 3 Covid-19 variants

The 2nd wave of India's Covid-19 pandemic has been attributed mostly to the Delta variant, first reported in India in October 2020.
A large number of tourists strolling at Ridge in Shimla in July. (Photo by Deepak Sansta / Hindustan Times)
Published on Jul 11, 2021 03:20 PM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Dr SK Sarin, the director of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, has said that though the Lambda variant is not present in India right now, it can come and that is the most worrying aspect of the present Covid-19 situation of the country. On the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic, he said that it can be fatal as there are chances that the virus will get the opportunity to spread because of the gathering of tourists as several hill stations of the country, Dr SK Sarin said to news agency ANI.

On Delta, Delta Plus, Lambda

On these most-discussed variants of the SARS-CoV-2, Dr Sarin said Delta, the variant which has been termed as the most transmissible by the World Health Organization is troublesome, Delta Plus, another mutation of Delta, is also there but cases have not been reported in large numbers. Lambda is most worrying, Dr Sarin said, adding that though it has not been reported in the country so far, it can come.

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While the 2nd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was dominated by Delta, which is still the variant behind maximum infections in the country, Delta Plus and Lambda are much in the discourse. Several states have reported Delta Plus cases but, according to scientific studies conducted so far, Delta Plus is found to be limited in some pockets of the states.


Lambda, the variant first reported from Peru, has emerged as a new cause for concern as it has spread to around 30 countries. The health ministry of Malaysia has termed Lambda as a variant "deadlier than Delta".

Lambda variant has not been found in India, but the Union health ministry has said that close monitoring of the global situation is going on.

While Delta and Delta Plus have been classified as Variants of Concern, Lambda is a Variant of Interest, according to the World Health Organization.

On 3rd wave of Covid-19

The recent influx of tourists in the hill stations has become worrying as visuals emerging from these areas show that Covid-appropriate behaviour is not being adhered to in these congregations. While local authorities are on their toes to put partial restrictions in place, the issue of crowding has reached PM Modi's meeting with his council of ministers. On the possibility of a third wave, Dr Sarin said it can become fatal as these gatherings can become superspreaders. "Until people promise to the society that they'll not misbehave, I think yatras are very dangerous. It can be harmful if they don't follow Covid appropriate behaviour," he said.

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