Menace Of Delta+ : Centre Issues New Guidelines Regarding This Variant

by Shatakshi Gupta

The union government wrote a letter to 8 states, alerting them for the Delta Plus variant of Corona. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written a letter to the Chief Secretaries of 8 states asking them to make complete preparations for Delta Plus.  These include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

 In the letter, the Centre has said that the cases of this variant of Corona are increasing rapidly in the country. Centre also directed states that they need to accelerate their test, track and vaccine drive, in order to hold control over the spread of this Delta plus variant of corona. Wherever Delta Plus cases are tracked, stringent containment arrangements must be made in this case. Do not hesitate in this.  The Centre also issued an alert for 10 districts.

10 districts of these states are on alert
  •  Tamil Nadu- Madurai, Kanchipuram and Chennai
  •  Rajasthan- Bikaner
  •  Karnataka- Mysuru
  •  Punjab- Patiala and Ludhiana
  •  Jammu and Kashmir – Katra
  •  Haryana- Faridabad
  •  Gujarat- Surat
  •  Andhra Pradesh- Tirupati

Also read: What Is Long-COVID? What Are Its Symptoms?

Key points of government’s guidelines

In the states or districts where Delta Plus patients are reported, urgent measures should be taken to prevent crowding as well as movement of people must be controlled.

Containment zones should be created with immediate effect in all those places where Delta Plus cases are found. All the restrictions should be strictly followed.

Enough samples of people found to be corona infected should be sent to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) without any delay.

51 cases of Delta Plus in the country yet

As per government, the cases of Delta Plus variant have risen to 51 in the country till date. So far, delta plus variant cases have been reported in total of 12 states. In the examination of around 45 thousand samples, the maximum number of 22 cases are reported in Maharashtra. Other than this, 8 cases have been confirmed in Madhya Pradesh, 3 in Kerala, 2 each in Punjab and Gujarat, one case each in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Karnataka.

Alert already issued to MP, Maharashtra and Kerala

The Health Ministry already issued an alert to Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala two days back.  Based on recent findings from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia, Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have been recommended to be cautious of this corona variant.

Also read: Do Covid Survivors need only 1 Shot of a 2-Dose Vaccine??

Effectiveness of vaccine on Delta+ variant

 Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG, Dr. Balram Bhargava, on Friday said that it will take 10 days to find out the efficacy of vaccine on this Delta plus variant. He said that mutation in the Delta variant is also due to pressure and it gets better environment.

What is the Delta-Plus variant?

The double mutant strain B.1.617.2 of the coronavirus which is found in India has been called as“Delta” by the WHO (World Health Organization).  Another mutation K417N has occurred in B.1.617.2, which were earlier also seen in the Beta and Gamma variants of the coronavirus. The variant which is now formed after the new mutation is named as the “Delta+” variant or “AY.1” or “B.1.617.2.1”.

These new variants with K417N mutations are found to be more infectious and harmful than the original virus. They can evenreduce the effect of vaccines as well as medicines. Actually, the delta variant (B.1.617.2) is derived from the B.1.617 lineage itself.  There are two more variants which belong to the same lineage – “B.1.617.1” and “B.1.617.3”,among which B.1.617.1 is listed by WHO as Variant of Interest (VOI) and named “Kappa”.