COVID-19: Delta Plus not yet classified as ‘variant of concern’: Niti Aayog's VK Paul
The Delta Plus variant (AY.1) of Covid-19 is as of now a Variant of Interest (VoI) and has not been classified as a Variant of Concern (VoC) yet, said Dr VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog.
New Delhi: The newly detected Covid-19 Delta Plus variant is not yet classified as a 'variant of concern', the government said.
The comment comes after it has been confirmed that the Delta variant of coronavirus has further mutated to form the 'Delta plus' or 'AY.1' variant. All data regarding the new Covid-19 Delta Plus variant have already been submitted to the global data system.
Paul, while addressing the Covid-19 Media Briefing at National Media Centre, said, "The present status is that yes, a new variant has been found. This is as of now a Variant of Interest (VoI), not as yet classified as a Variant of Concern (VoC). VoC is one in which we have understood that there are adverse consequences to humanity, which could be due to increased transmissibility or virulence. We do not know at this moment about the Delta Plus variant."
Paul stressed on the need to watch the effect of the variant in a scientific manner as it has been found outside our country.
"We need to monitor it through The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) in order to assess and detect its potential presence and growth in our country. This is the way forward in relation to the virus," said Paul.
No precision weapon to shoot variants away
The Niti Aayog member said that this variant is a reminder to us about the importance of infection control and containment measures and behaviour.
“Remember that there is no way that we can shoot these variants away, to use any precision weapon to ensure that they don't appear in future. We need to monitor, understand their behaviour, mount an appropriate response, and be conscious of their effects on us. The appropriate response includes the same principles, namely containment measures and Covid appropriate behaviour."
Explaining the origin of the Delta Plus variant, Dr Paul said, “During the second wave, Delta variant - B.1.617.2 exhibited its effect; its higher transmissibility played a major role in making the wave intense. Along the same line, an additional mutation has been detected, which has also been submitted to the Global Data System. This has been referred to as the 'Delta Plus' or 'AY.1' variant. The variant was observed in Europe in March and has been notified and brought into public domain on June 13, just two days ago."
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