Delta Plus variant of virus identified, to be tracked

By: |
June 16, 2021 12:15 AM

The new variant has been found and is a variant of interest, but has not yet been classified as variant of concern, V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, said at a health ministry briefing on Tuesday.

"Occurrence or non-occurrence of any wave, is in our own hands. To my mind, it is not fair to put any date for any wave," he said."Occurrence or non-occurrence of any wave, is in our own hands. To my mind, it is not fair to put any date for any wave," he said.

A mutated version of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus has been identified in the country. This Delta Plus variant had been seen since March 2021 in Europe and has also been notified in the public domain on June 13.

The new variant has been found and is a variant of interest, but has not yet been classified as variant of concern, V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, said at a health ministry briefing on Tuesday.

Variants of concern are those variants in which there are adverse consequences to humanity with increase in transmissibility and severity, Paul said.

This Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium (INSACOG) system will be looking at where the Delta Plus virus mutation is present and its prevalence in the country, he said. At present 28 labs are working on this and a constant watch would be kept on the virus.

INSACOG is a forum set up under the ministry of health and family welfare to study and monitor genome sequencing and virus variation of circulating strains of Covid-19 in India. Paul said such things would keep happening as viruses are predisposed to errors in replication of RNA and when that happens, the virus acquires new character.

“At times this may be significant and we are worried about such variants,” he said. This new mutation was seen nullifying the antibodies. INSACOG would be monitoring the behaviour of the new variant mutation. The Delta variant’s transmissibility was higher, which is why the second wave of the pandemic was intense and this variant played its part in the severity during the second wave, Paul said.

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