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Coronavirus | Maharashtra monitoring delta plus variant cases

Rajesh Tope. File.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Even as Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said he has directed officials to monitor the ‘Delta Plus’ variant, a member of the COVID-19 task force, Dr. Shashank Joshi, said there was no sufficient data yet to cause alarm on it.

“Variant of concern, Vaccine and Panic. ‘Delta plus’ VOC [variant of concern] does not have sufficient data to be alarmed except that we must continue our strict COVID appropriate behaviour with double mask, avoiding crowds and continuing vaccination. Delta plus virulence unknown, transmission may be more,” tweeted Dr. Joshi.

Highly infectious

The State has reported 21 of the 40 cases of the variant, considered highly infectious.

Mr. Tope said they included nine cases in Ratnagiri, seven in Jalgaon, two in Mumbai and one case each in Palghar, Thane and Sindhudurg districts.

“Just how infectious this new variant is can only be ascertained after we have enough data. Currently, the State has reported 21 cases in 7,500-odd samples tested after May 15. We need far more samples to gauge the severity. So, I have instructed authorities in each district to collect at least 100 samples [who may have come in contact with the index patients] in recent days to know its spread,” he said.

The Centre has advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh to strengthen surveillance and appropriate health measures.

Steady decline

“Currently, the number of such Delta Plus variants is only few but the distribution or detection in various States during the past two + months indicates that [it] is already present in some States and [they] may need to enhance their public health response by focusing on surveillance, enhanced testing, quick contact-tracing and priority vaccination,” the official statement said.

The State, which has been witnessing a steady decline in the cases since the past month, has now a little over 1.20 lakh active cases.


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 11:10:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-maharashtra-monitoring-delta-plus-variant-cases/article34922247.ece

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