Delta Plus variant traced in 9 countries; UK, US, Japan, China on list
Even as the nations rush to vaccinate large chunks of the population as they race against coronavirus, a new variant of the virus called Delta plus has come under the global watch. Even as they kept their guard up against the highly transmissible Delta variant, first found in India, at least nine countries have started reporting cases of mutated Delta plus variant strain.
The Delta plus variant is also called B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 strain. Out of the details emerging about the Delta Plus variant, the most noticeable one is the fact that the new strain is resistant to the monoclonal antibodies cocktail.
India on Tuesday said it has at least 22 cases of the Delta plus variant, which the government has classified as a variant of interest so far. The strain from which it has mutated from Delta has been listed as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Delta Plus variant of the Covid-19 variant is found in nine countries, including India which has reported 22 cases, the central government said on Tuesday.
These countries include the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia.
Delta variant, officials said is found in 80 nations, including India
"In India, 16 of the 22 cases of Delta Plus variant have been found in Ratnagiri and Jalgaon (Maharashtra) and some cases in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh", Rajesh Bhushan, Union health secretary said.
As many as 21 cases of the Delta Plus Covid variant, the mutant version of the Delta variant have been found in Maharashtra, health minister Rajesh Tope informed on Monday. Tope further informed that of the 21 cases, nine were reported from Jalgaon in Ratnagiri, seven were from Mumbai and one each from Palghar, Sindhudurg and Thane.
The Delta variant is considered to have driven the deadly second wave in India where the country witnessed a crisis with daily cases being clocked at more than 400,000, crematoriums running out of space and wood to cremate bodies and collapse of health infrastructure across states.
Officials added that the severity and transmissibility of the Delta plus variant are not known yet.
"This is a variant of interest that has not yet been classified as a variant of concern. A variant of concern is in which we have understood that there are adverse consequences to humanity by an increase in transmissibility and severity. This is not known yet about the Delta plus variant," VK Paul, NITI Aayog Member (Health) said.