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The highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has mutated further to form the ‘Delta plus’ or ‘AY.1’ variant. The new Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave.

The already deadly Delta variant led to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also delayed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed plans to lift pandemic curbs until July 19 due to a surge in the delta variant.

Here is everything you need to know about the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus disease:

  • Delta plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19 recently authorised in India.
  • “One of the emerging variants is B.1.617.2.1 also known as AY.1 characterized by the acquisition of K417N mutation," Vinod Scaria, clinician and scientist at Delhi’s CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), tweeted on Sunday. The mutation, he said, is in the spike protein of SARS-COV-2, which helps the virus enter and infect the human cells.
  • According to Public Health England, 63 genomes of Delta (B.1.617.2) with the new K417N mutation have been identified so far on the global science initiative GISAID.
  • In its latest report on coronavirus variants, updated till last Friday, the health agency said Delta plus was present in six genomes from India as of June 7.
  • Though there is no indication yet of the severity of the disease due to the new variant, say scientists.
  • The Maharashtra government has sent a substantial number of samples from various districts for genome sequencing to verify if any new mutation of SARS-CoV-2 has taken place, with the aim being to identify a new Covid-19 variant Delta Plus or AY.1.

-With agency inputs

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