The Delta plus variant with increased transmissibility has reportedly put India in a situation where possibility of the third wave being more virulent is feared.
As per reports, the Delta Plus variant is the latest in a long list of new mutant forms of the Delta Covid-19 strain which was first detected in India.
The earlier version ‘Delta’ had largely been blamed for the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India.
Talking about the potential threats to life that this variant is feared to bring in, it is one of the emerging variants of the Delta plus mutant strain has also acquired the K417N mutation, found in Beta variants in South Africa.
Experts fear that the mutation combined with other existing features of the Delta variant could make it more transmissible.
However, further study will help in ascertaining this idea.
Earlier this week, Professor Shahid Jameel, one of India’s top virologists and a former member of the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG), expressed deep concern regarding the Delta plus variant.
Prof. Jameel said that the new mutant variant may just be capable of dodging immunities, both from Covid-19 vaccines as well as from earlier infections. This is because the Delta plus variant not only has all the symptoms that the original Delta variant had, but also carries symptoms from its partner Beta variant (K417N mutation).
He further added, “we already know that the Beta variant evades Covid-19 vaccines much better than the Alpha or the Delta variants, as evidenced by the fact that the South African government had returned a consignment of AstraZeneca vaccines.”
On the other hand, the central government has informed that studies are saying the Covishield and Covaxin are ‘broadly effective’ on the Delta plus variant. Further studies are required in this area to properly ascertain the claims on either side.
According to reports, authorities have stated that Delta Plus can likely inflict another wave of infections on India after it emerged from the world’s worst surge in cases only recently.
In India, around 40 Delta Plus Variant cases have been detected so far in Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh.
Fortunately, no deaths have yet been reported of the new variant in India and the UK.