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Home / News / India /  Delta Plus variant: Govt panel to review status and spread of new strain today

The central government's advisory group on Covid-19 -- INSACOG -- will meet on Friday to review the status and spread of the newly detected Delta Plus mutation of coronavirus, reported news ANI quoting sources.

In India, the Delta variant has further mutated to form the 'Delta plus' or 'AY.1' variant. Initial data suggests that Delta plus variant shows signs of resistance towards monoclonal antibodies cocktail treatments.

Several experts, however, have deemed the Delta Plus variant to be more infectious and studies are underway to assess the mutant strain.

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) has called it a "Variant of Concern (VOC)" and informed that it has characteristics of increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

Genomic sequencing

INSACOG is expected to release the genomic surveillance bulletin on the Delta Plus variant soon, ANI had earlier said.

"INSACOG is going to formally release the genomic surveillance bulletin on Delta Plus variant soon. The Centre is closely monitoring Delta Plus cases to take timely and appropriate step to prevent its spread," the news agency quoted a source as saying.

Third-wave scare

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that it is too early to say whether Delta Plus will be responsible for the third wave of coronavirus, which according to experts will depend on several other factors.

"It's a normal tendency of every mRNA virus that mutation will happen. These mutations are inevitable, we cannot control the mutation," said Dr Sumit Aggarwal, scientist and program officer, division of epidemiology and communicable disease of ICMR.

"So, as the time progresses, we will proceed further. So there will be a variation. Initially, there was alpha, then delta and now delta plus," he added.

He also said that in future more mutations can be seen.

"Yes, definitely it's a new virus and MoHFW has also released a statement that this is a virus of concern because this is a new variant and we have started the studies," said Aggarwal.

"There are three characters of the variant which we have recognised till now. High transmissibility, shows high affinity towards the lung cells and less response to the monoclonal antibodies therapy," he added.



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