Delta Plus strain has to be tackled with urgent, additional measures: WHO

Published on Jun 27, 2021 07:20 AM IST

The Delta plus variant binds more easily to lung cells and is potentially resistant to monoclonal antibody therapy.

WHO, earlier this month, included the Delta variant in its list of variants of concern. (PTI Photo)
WHO, earlier this month, included the Delta variant in its list of variants of concern. (PTI Photo)
By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Delta Plus variant of coronavirus, which several experts say is more infectious, needs to be addressed with vaccination and safety measures such as wearing face masks, the World Health Organization's (WHO) representative to Russia Melita Vujnovic has said. "Vaccination plus masks, because just a vaccine is not enough with 'Delta.' We need to make an effort over a short period of time, otherwise there would be a lockdown," Vujnovic said on the live YouTube show, according to news agency ANI.

Vujnovic said that vaccination is essential because it lowers the probability of spreading the virus and lowers the risks of severe disease. Vujnovic warned that "additional measures" will probably be required as well. She was speaking to talk show host Vladimir Solovyov on his “Solovyov LIVE”.

Also read | Delta Plus a Covid-19 'variant of concern' in India: Health ministry

The Delta plus variant, which is also known as AY.1, spreads more easily, binds more easily to lung cells and is potentially resistant to monoclonal antibody therapy, which is a potent intravenous infusion of antibodies to neutralise the virus.

WHO, earlier this month, included the Delta variant in its list of variants of concern as the strain became prevalent and has caused a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in several countries. India has also reported multiple cases of the Delta Plus strain, which was first discovered in March.

The Centre said on Friday the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus has spread to 12 states in the country and that Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 22.

On Saturday, authorities in Gujarat's Surat said that a case of Delta Plus variant was confirmed in a person in the city. "A case of Delta Plus has been confirmed in a person who tested positive for COVID-19 on April 1. The patient had recovered in home isolation," Surat Municipal Corporation's commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said.

Also read | Testing vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 Delta+ variant: Centre

Officials in Chandigarh and Ludhiana also said first cases of the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus were also detected in their areas. According to an official statement, he sample of a 35-year-old Chandigarh resident, who tested positive for Covid-19 on May 22, was detected with Delta Plus variant.

Ludhiana's deputy commissioner VK Sharma on Saturday that the patient is a 62-year-old man and does not have a travel history, according to ANI. "He was tested positive on June 15. His situation is stable. All 198 of his contacts were tested negative," Sharma told ANI.

The government stressed the number of Delta Plus cases is very limited and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also said it is too early to say whether this strain will be responsible for the third wave of coronavirus pandemic.

(With agency inputs)

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