21 Cases of Delta Plus Variant Detected in Maharashtra

Story Highlights
  • 21 cases of Delta Plus variant found in six districts
  • Ratnagiri detected nine cases while Thane, Palghar and Sindhudurg district detected one respectively
  • The state government announced genome sequencing to track the origin

Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said that 21 cases of the Delta plus variant of the novel virus were detected in the state. Amongst these 21; nine are from Ratnagiri, seven are from Jalgaon and two from Mumbai and one each from Thane, Palghar and Sindhudurg district. 

 The new variant has acquired a mutation linked with circumventing the body’s immunity, scientists say, adding as of now it is not a cause for concern. 

The government conducted genome sequencing from 15 May collecting 100 samples from each district which summed up to 7,500 samples. Out of these 21 cases of the mutated Delta Plus Variant were identified. 

Tope added that as a further course of action, detailed information like the travel and health history of Coronavirus infection and vaccination in respect of these 21 index cases would be collected and further analysis would be undertaken. He also stated that aggressive contact tracing would also be carried out with reference to these 21 index cases.

 Genome sequencing allows the tracking of small mutations in SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, meaning chains of transmission can be identified. 

Shedding light on the new variant, AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria said  “Delta Plus is a variant which is of the same lineage as Delta variant, with a slight change as there is one more mutation found, which could be a cause of concern because this mutation, the K417N, is something which may change the virus to some extent as far as its infectivity is concerned… What we need to do is observe. Currently, the WHO has said that this is a variant of interest, but it could become a variant of concern because currently, the number of cases is less.”

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