The genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive samples from Uttar Pradesh has revealed two cases with the Delta Plus strain.
In May this year, 100 samples were routinely sent to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, and the reports were received earlier this week.
The Delta plus strain is more transmissible and evades the body's immunity.
According to additional chief secretary (ACS), health and family welfare, Amit Mohan Prasad, "The cases were identified during genome sequencing of samples in the state. Surfacing of Delta Plus virus makes Covid-19 appropriate behaviour very essential."
Till date, more than 1,000 samples have been sent for genome sequencing from the state to various labs.
Of these, over 80 per cent tested positive to Delta variant, while about 6 per cent tested positive for the alpha strain.
The two cases of Delta Plus strain have been reported for the first time.
Sources revealed the two patients, who hail from Gorakhpur and Deoria districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, had contracted the infection in May.
While one of them was a 66-year-old resident of Deoria who died during treatment, the other is a 23-year-old resident doctor at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College, Gorakhpur.
The two had no travel history and were unrelated.
"The elderly patient contracted infection on May 7 and was treated at home till his health deteriorated and he was shifted to the BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur. He died during the course of treatment on May 29.
He had no travel history and all 27 contacts tested negative to Covid-19," said health department officials.