Is Delta Plus Variant of Covid-19 More Infectious Than Other Strains?
As fear over the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of Covid-19 grips India, AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria today said there is not much data to conclude that the new strain is more infectious than the other strains or is causing more deaths. He, however, emphasised that Covid-19 appropriate protocol needs to be followed to stay safe from the emerging variants of Coronavirus.
“There isn’t much data on Delta plus variant to suggest it’s more infectious, causing more deaths, or has developed significant immune escape mechanism. But if we follow COVID appropriate behaviour, we’ll be safe against any of emerging variants,” Dr Guleria said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) today warned that the highly transmissible Delta strain will become the dominant variant of the coronavirus globally in the coming months. Given the increase in transmissibility, the WHO warned that the Delta variant is “expected to rapidly outcompete other variants and become the dominant variant over the coming months.”
The data released by the health ministry on June 25 says 48 samples in 10 states were found to be of the Delta Plus variant. Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Gujarat. Four deaths have been reported so far from the Delta variant, including two in MP and one each in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
With 21 cases among the 48 identified in the country so far, Maharashtra leads the charts in Delta plus Covid-19 strain infections. The Delta Plus or AY.1 variant has been detected in patients from Ratnagiri (9), Jalgaon (7), Mumbai (2), and one each from Thane, Palghar and Sindhudurg districts. The Union health ministry has made it clear that this strain has three worrying characteristics - increased transmissibility, stronger binding in receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.
Source: India Today