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Delta-Plus variant reported by Maharashtra, Experts warn mutation could result in third wave

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At least seven cases of the Delta-plus variant have been found in samples collected from Maharashtras Ratnagiri, Navi Mumbai and Palghar while more samples have been sent for genome sorting to find out if the variant is dominant or distributed.

A report in The Indian Express said the new variant is formed by mutation in the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and is currently an variant of interest and has not yet been classified as a variant of concern.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates India reports 58,419 new cases in last 24 hours, recovery rate at 96%

Experts in Maharashtra have warned that the Delta plus variant could be the reason behind a third wave of Covid-19 and could take an active load of up to eight loops and 10 per cent of them could be children, another report told the Hindustan Times.

The report said the mutation in the viral spike protein facilitates entry into human host cells. While the new species has a better mechanism for escaping immunity, it is studying its transmissibility, its virulence and whether the mutant is resistant to treating the cocktail with monoclonal antibodies.

Delta-plus we found in Navi Mumbai, Palghar and Ratnagiri. After that, we sent more samples, but final reports are awaited, said Dr TP Lahane, Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).

It is worth noting that while cases are falling in the state, the districts of Western Maharashtra, including Kolhapur, Sindhudurg, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara and Sangli have reported an consistently high number of Covid-19 cases and the degree of positivity.

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Five of the seven cases of the Delta-plus variants were reported by Ratnagiri, where the positivity rate is 13.7 per cent compared to the state average of 5.8 per cent.

Meanwhile in Ratnagiri, Dr Sanghamitra Gawde, a civil surgeon, said they immediately set up blockade areas and sealed entire villages. In two cases, the infected persons had no symptoms.

Dr Gawde adds, the villages where we found the Delta-plus variant also have people who travel frequently abroad. The infected case in question though has no travel history.

The Covid-19 Task Force in the state made a presentation to Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday, where they expressed their concern. The Delta plus variant could cause the third wave in Maharashtra. “It can double the rate,” an official said during the presentation.

According to the projection, if a third wave caused by Delta Plus hits the state, the number will be the highest. The projection is also troubling because many people will be fully vaccinated by then.

The first case of the Delta plus variant was reported at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The patient is a 65-year-old woman and her condition is stable.

Maharashtra on Saturday reported 8,912 fresh COVID-19 cases and 257 deaths, bringing the number to 59,63,420 and the number to 1,17,356, the state Department of Health said. Earlier on March 8, the state had registered 8,744 cases, he said.

Of the 257 deaths, 193 had occurred in the last 48 hours while 64 in the last week. Another 425 victims were added to the state cumulative tax as part of the ongoing data reconciliation exercise, which increased the total to 682 compared to the previous day. With 10,373 patients released during the day, the number of recoveries in Maharashtra reached 57,10,356, leaving the state with 1,32,597 active cases, the department said.

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