The Delta Plus variant is a mutant version of B.1.617.2 strain, which was called Delta by the World Health Organization. Experts say the Delta strain drove the second wave of COVID-19, infecting millions and leading to the deaths of thousands.
What the government says on Delta Plus
According to an official statement, the Delta Plus Variant has shown
- Increased transmissibility
- Stronger binding to receptors of lung cells
- Potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response
How dangerous is the new Delta Plus variant?
There is very little evidence of how virulent the new strain is.
Experts in Maharashtra, one of the worst-hit states during the first and second waves, say that owing to the new variant, the third wave may come earlier than predicted. The state, which has reported most of the cases of the new variant, is already preparing for a third wave.
The Delta Plus is active in US, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Russia, China, and India.
Maharashtra is currently collecting data, including travel history and vaccination status, of those who have reported this version of the virus.
Are vaccines not effective against this variant?
It’s too early to say. The government says Covishield and Covaxin are effective against the Delta variant but data on how effective they are against the Delta Plus will be shared later.