The Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a cause for concern with its mutation. While the second wave of COVID19 took a massive toll on people's health and mental well being, the shadow of the third wave is wrecking havoc. The World Health Organisation tagged B.1.617.2 strain as the 'Delta' variant of COVID19, that is identified as one of the drivers of the second wave of coronavirus infections. Now, this variant has further mutated to form the 'Delta plus' or 'AY.1' variant. The central government on Monday gave an update on the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus, saying it is present in 12 states.
The update, based on the data given by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said that 48 cases of the variant have been identified from more than 45,000 samples collected during April, May and June.
Delta Plus has already been declared a variant of concern by the Indian government. Reportedly, the new COVID variant has three characteristic features, which makes it more dangerous and concerning than the previous variants.
- Increased transmissibility
- Stronger binding to receptors of lung cells
- Potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response
Where was Delta Plus cases detected?
The first Delta Plus variant was seen in Europe in March this year. It was brought into the public domain only on June 13. According to scientists, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) has further mutated to form the Delta Plus variant. Reportedly, the variant has been detected in the US, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China, Russia and now in India.
In India, the first case of Delta plus variant was reported in a 65-year-old woman from Bhopal, who had recovered from COVID-19 under home isolation and was also administered two doses of the vaccine. Her samples were collected on May 23 and reports from the National Central for Disease Control (NCDC) on June 16 stated she tested positive for the variant.
Precautions to be taken
As the nation unlocks and several states lifting their border restrictions, the safety of the people remains in one's own hands. It has become even more important to follow the covid19 rules and regulations set my government.
Social distancing, double masking and frequent washing of hands remains salient: Given that the Delta Plus variant is more transmissible and spreads faster than the previous one, maintaining social distance is considered an important factor.
- Wear 'double mask' when you're outdoor and in crowded places.
- Stay Home, Stay Safe mantra to be followed. Avoid going outside or step out, only if necessary.
- Keep your children indoors and ask them not to touch contaminated surfaces.
- Apart from that, wash your hands regularly or sanitize them.