A delta-plus variant (or AY.01) is a mutated form of the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2. A 4-year-old-boy hailing from Kadapra in Pathanamthitta has tested positive for the Delta-plus variant. A first in Kerala.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi (CSIR-IGIB) received the boy’s testing sample for sequencing. After analysing, they confirmed the existence of the variant. The local bodies at Pathanamthitta have imposed strict regulations and protocols to prevent the spread of the new variant. The District Collector at Pathanamthitta, Narasimhugari Tej Lohit Reddy has stated that the area in which the boys comes from has an 18.42% test positivity rate and considered a red zone.
Two cases of the delta-plus variant were found in Palakkad too. Two women in their 50s were detected with the variant.
The Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 was the main reason behind the plummeted rise of the second wave in India. The slow rise of the Delta Plus variant is concerning because experts believe that this could “evade both vaccine and infection immunity“.
Should we worry about the Delta-plus variant?
It is a variant of concern. If it isn’t checked and/or contained properly, the risk of spread is high.
AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria, in an interview with NDTV, shared, “Delta plus is a variant which is of same lineage as Delta variant, with a slight change as there is one more mutation found, which could be a cause of concern because this mutation, the K417N, is something which may change the virus to some extent as far as its infectivity is concerned… What we need to do is observe. Currently, the WHO has said that this is a variant of interest but it could become a variant of concern because currently, the number of cases is less. Will this Delta plus again become the dominant variant that is something that we need to observe over the next few weeks.”
Also Read: Why Covid-19 Is Not The End Of The World