Home / News / India /  Delta Plus variant of covid-19 circulating in India: govt

The central government on Tuesday confirmed that it has detected a mutation in the delta variant of SARS CoV2 virus which has emerged into an additional strain named as Delta Plus.

Confirming that the Delta variant played a crucial role in the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic, the government said that it has submitted the information to the global data system.

“It has been seen in Europe since March and was brought into the public domain two days ago on June 13. Delta variant played a major role in the pandemic. Delta Plus is a variant of interest, but not a variant of concern," said Dr Vinod Paul Member (Health) in NITI Aayog and Chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for covid-19 (NEGVAC) at a press briefing.

“It has not yet been classified as a variant of concern, in which there is adverse consequence to humanity. As per data available in the public domain, this variant nullifies the use of monoclonal antibody. We will scientifically study and learn more about this variant. We are studying the strain and its spread and presence in the country," he said.

The government said that INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia) will keep a strict vigil on the new variant. Meanwhile the number of covid-19 cases are steadily in the country with the trajectory of the pandemic declining. India reported over 60,471 daily new cases in last 24 hours, lowest after 75 days with 2733 deaths due to coronavirus.

“India has been almost 85% decline in cases since the highest reported peak in daily new cases and a consistent decline in average daily new cases since week of 5-11 May. Progressive increase in rate of decline of average daily new cases," said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, union health ministry.

“A reduction of 366 districts is indicating containment of infection in relatively limited territories. Active cases have come below 10 lakh after 65 days. There has been a consistent decline in active cases – presently 9.13 lakh active cases, a decrease in active cases by more than 28.3 lakhs," said Agarwal.

The government said that there has been a decline by 75.6% from the peak of active cases across the country along with a sharp decline in weekly positivity – 78% decrease since highest reported weekly positivity of 21.4%.

While there has been a debate over children being affected by the coronavirus, the government said Those aged 1-20 years accounted for 11.62% of the total cases during the second wave (March 15 to May 25) as against 11.31% in the first wave (July 1 to December 31), indicating not much difference in the proportion of those infected in this age-group.

The data showed that the 21-50 age group was the most affected category in both waves with the people from this category accounting for 59.74% of the infections in the first wave as against 62.45% in the second. As for people aged above 61 years, the proportion was 13.89% in the first wave and 12.58 in the second wave.

“The first wave saw 3.28% cases coming from 1 to 10 years age group while it is 3.05% in the second wave. The age group 11-20 years accounted for 8.03% in the first wave and 8.57% in the second wave. There is no substantial evidence to indicate there will be severe infection among children though everyone needs to be vigilant," said Agarwal.

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