New Delhi: As Maharashtra confirmed 21 cases of Delta Plus variant, the state government has commenced proactive measures to deal with the new COVID-19 strain.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday (June 23) confirmed the number of cases of Delta Plus variant that has been found in seven districts including nine in Ratnagiri, seven in Jalgaon, two in Mumbai, and one case each in Palghar, Thane and Sindhudurg districts.
“Twenty-one cases of Delta Plus variant have been found in seven districts of the state. We are isolating such cases and taking all details like travel history, contact tracing and if they have been vaccinated,” Tope told reporters.
The state minister also apprised that around 100 samples each from 36 districts of Maharashtra have been taken and sent for genome sequencing. He added that no casualties have been logged due to this new strain so far.
“We have decided to send the samples for the genome sequence study. No deaths have been caused due to the Delta Plus variant. Symptoms and treatment are the same for this variant. No children have been infected with this variant,” ANI quoted him as saying.
A separate hospital ward has been formed for the treatment of such patients, Tope said.
Further talking about this ‘variant of concern’, he said, “These are the index cases of Delta plus variant and its severity could be higher. The study of this variant has indicated that it could be more virulent compared to the previous mutants.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Maharashtra COVID-19 task force member Dr Shashank Joshi, allaying fears about the new variant, said there is no sufficient data available to be alarmed about the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of coronavirus.
“Variant of concern, vaccine and Panic. Delta plus variant of concern does not have sufficient data to be alarmed except that we must continue our strict COVID appropriate behaviour with double mask, avoid crowds and continue vaccination,” he said in a tweet.
“Delta plus virulence unknown, transmission may be more,” Joshi stated.
Meanwhile, Goa has increased screening of the border it shares with the Sindhudurg district in south Maharashtra. “In the nearby districts in Sindhudurg, the Delta plus variant has been found, so screening at the borders is going on. We have also given permission to set up a private laboratory at the border,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was quoted as saying by IANS.
At least 40 confirmed cases of Delta plus variant have been detected in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare termed Delta Plus a ‘Variant of Concern’. The union ministry also issued an advisory and alerted three states – Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh after certain districts reported some cases.
(With inputs from agencies)