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Centre says Delta Plus now a variant of concern in India

In a press statement on the rising number of Delta Plus cases in the country, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said Delta Plus is "currently a variant of concern".

Centre says Delta Plus now a variant of concern in India-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 23, 2021, 10:05 AM IST
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The Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus has been declared by India as the one of concern, as more than two dozen cases have been detected in three states. This is the mutated version of the Delta variant, first found in India.

In a press statement on the rising number of Delta Plus cases in the country, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said Delta Plus is "currently a variant of concern".

Previously, the ministry had said Delta Plus was only a 'variant of interest'.

A variant of concern (VoC) carries the highest threat perception of a coronavirus variant, which is characterised by increased infectivity, transmissibility or resistance to vaccines and treatment. A VoI is a degree lower.

The World Health Organisation, as of June 14, had classified the variant ‘delta’ (B.1.617.2) as well as offshoots — AY.1 and AY.2 — as VoC. 

The Union health ministry advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh on the presence of the Delta Plus variant, which has been pegged as VoC in certain districts of these states.

Union health secretary communicated to these three states that this variant has been found in genome sequenced samples from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala, and Bhopal and Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the ministry has advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh to take up immediate containment measures, enhance testing, tracking and vaccination in districts and clusters where the Delta Plus variant has been detected. 

It has also asked these states to promptly send adequate samples of positive persons to designated laboratories of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium (INSACOG) so that the clinical epidemiological correlations can be made.

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