Tamil Nadu reports first death from ‘Delta Plus’ Covid variant as concern grows

Published on Jun 26, 2021 02:57 PM IST

Ma Subramanian, minister for medical and family welfare of Tamil Nadu, on Saturday said that two out of three identified cases of the new ‘Delta Plus variant’ have recovered.

As of Friday, nine people in Tamil Nadu tested positive for the Delta Plus variant, an offshoot of the Delta variant.( Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
As of Friday, nine people in Tamil Nadu tested positive for the Delta Plus variant, an offshoot of the Delta variant.( Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Tamil Nadu has registered its first death due to the Delta plus variant of Sars-Cov-2 (Covid-19) after a patient from Madurai succumbed to the infection, according to the state health department. A more virulent version AY.1, also called Delta plus, is an offshoot of the Delta variant which has caused renewed concern about the capability to evade immunity built by vaccination or the previous infection.

Ma Subramanian, minister for medical and family welfare of Tamil Nadu, on Saturday said that two of three identified cases of the new ‘Delta plus variant’ have recovered. The two recovered cases include a 32-year-old nurse from Chennai and another individual from the Kancheepuram district.

"After the death of the Madurai patient, the samples were collected, which confirmed that it was 'Delta plus' variant," Subramanian said.

However, the patient's contacts have tested negative.

Also Read | As Delta variant cases rise, WHO asks fully vaccinated to keep masks on

As of Friday, Maharashtra has reported maximum cases of Delta plus variant at 20, while nine people in Tamil Nadu tested positive for the new variant of concern. Nearly 30% of cases of Delta plus variant have been traced back to southern India in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The concern over the Delta plus variant prompted the Union health ministry on Friday to direct seven chief secretaries to take immediate containment measures where cases of the Delta plus variant have been found. Tamil Nadu’s Madurai, Kanchipuram and Chennai have been asked to strengthen their response after the Delta Plus variant was found in those districts.

Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to chief secretaries asking them to implement immediate containment measures and ensure proper adherence to Covid-19 measures. Based on data received from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia, a forum set up by the health ministry to study and monitor genome sequencing of circulating virus strains, the Delta Plus variants have three main characteristics - increased transmissibility; stronger binding to receptors of lung cells; and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

(With PTI inputs)

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