India On Alert As 48 Cases Of Delta Plus Variant Reported So Far; Deaths In Maharashra, MP

New Delhi: Even as the nation continues to battle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, 48 cases of the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of the Covid-19 infection have reportedly been identified in India so far.

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director Dr S.K. Singh earlier told a media briefing that there are 48 cases of ‘Delta Plus’, as of Friday, across the country.

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He said that more than 50 per cent of the ‘Delta Plus’ variant have been found in eight states, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava informed that Covishield and Covaxin work against the variants of SARS CoV 2 — alpha, beta, gama as well as delta.

“Delta Plus is present in 12 countries. 48 cases have been identified in India but more importantly, they have been very localised,” he added.

Bhargava further said “this virus has also been isolated and cultured now”.

“We are doing the same test that we have done for alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Looking at the laboratory test to check the vaccine effect and we should have the results in about seven to 10 days’ time,” he added.

The ‘Delta Plus’ variant, formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, has been declared a variant of concern in India.

The ICMR Director General also informed that there is only one country, which is giving vaccine to the children at the moment.

“Whether very small children will ever need vaccine, is still a question. Till such time, we have more data on vaccination of children, we won’t be in a position to vaccinate children at large,” he said.

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Bhargava also informed that the Union Health Ministry has “given the guideline that vaccine can be given to pregnant women”.

“Vaccination is useful in pregnant women and it should be given,” he added.

According to Union Health Ministry, the country reported 51,667 new cases in last 24 hours while the active caseload has declined to 6,12,868.

The ministry further informed that 64,527 patients recovered during the last 24 hours, taking the tally across the country so far to 2,91,28,267.

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