Compared to other strains of Coronavirus, the 'Delta Plus' variant has a greater affinity to lung tissues. However, according to Dr NK Arora, head of the National Technical Advisory Group on Vaccination, Covid-19 NTAGI, it does not mean that it will cause serious disease or that it is more transmissible.
Most cases in Maharashtra
The new Coronavirus Delta Plus variant was identified on June 11. Recently, it was classified as a variant of concern. So far, 51 cases of Delta Plus have been reported in 12 states of the country. Maharashtra has the highest number of cases of infection with this variant.
Regarding the variant, the head of NTAGI's COVID-19 Task Group said that it has been found that the variant has greater affinity to lung tissues as compared to other strains of coronavirus but clarified that it does not mean the Delta Plus variant will cause more severe disease or is more transmissible.
Safe after vaccination?
"Delta plus is having a greater affinity to mucosal lining in the lungs, higher compared to other variants, but if it causes damage or not is not clear yet. It also does not mean that this variant will cause more severe disease or it is more transmissible," Arora told news agency PTI.
He said that the impact of Delta Plus will be more clear after some more cases are identified, but it seems that that the disease is generally mild in all those who have got either single or double dose of the vaccine. "We need to keep a very close watch and look at its spread so that it will give us transmission efficiency," he said.
States have been warned
Arora said that there could be more cases of Delta Plus variant as there may be many individuals who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms but they are carrying the virus and spreading it.
"But the important point is that our genomic surveillance component has picked it up rightly and early enough. Now what will happen is that states have already been told that it is a variant of concern and it requires action which means that several states have already started making micro plans for the districts where the virus is identified so that their spread can be contained. Obviously vaccination will have to be increased in these districts," he said.