India designates Delta Plus a ‘Variant of Concern’; Maharashtra, Kerala, MP told to ramp up containment measures
The Centre’s warnings were based on the recent findings of INSACOG, which was dubbed the Delta Plus strain a Variant of Concern based on the following characteristics: Increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.
June 22, 2021 / 07:52 PM IST
As of June 22 three states – Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh – are reporting cases of the delta plus variant. (Image: News18 Creative)
After the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) designated the Delta Plus variant of novel coronavirus (a mutation of the Delta variant) a Variant of Concern (VoC), the Union Health Ministry on June 22 advised the states of Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh to immediately ramp up containment measures in districts where the variant has been found.
The INSACOG has found cases of Delta Plus COVID-19 variant in genome sequenced samples collected from the following districts of the three states: Ratnagiri and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala, and Bhopal and Shivpuri districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The Centre’s warnings were based on the recent findings of INSACOG, which was dubbed the Delta Plus strain a Variant of Concern based on the following characteristics:
Stronger binding to receptors of lung cells
Potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response
Accordingly, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh have been advised to promptly send adequate samples of positive persons to designated laboratories of INSACOG so that clinical epidemiological correlations can be made.
The Union Health Ministry has advised these three states to work with the established Public Health Response measures but make it more focused and effective.
The chief secretaries of the three states have been directed to take up immediate containment measures in the districts and clusters (as identified by INSACOG) including preventing crowds and intermingling of people, widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccine coverage on a priority basis.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here