As Delta Plus continues to build its footprint in India, it has come to notice that none of the 21 Maharashtra samples found to have this variant of coronavirus is from Vidarbha.
Of the 21 patients found infected with Delta plus 9 were from Ratnagiri, 7 from Jalgaon, 2 from Mumbai, and 1each from Palghar, Sindhudurg, and Thane, noted state health minister Rajesh Tope.
Talking to TOI, experts said that it was epidemiologically correct as per virus behavior that no sample from Vidarbha had the Delta plus variant. They contended that having originated in Vidarbha, the delta variant has now lost scope for multiplication in these areas resulting in zero infections. This is also the reason why it is not mutating into delta plus, experts said.
As opposed to Vidarbha, the second wave reached Ratnagiri and then Konkan very late. Even now as people are still uninfected, the virus has got a scope to multiply and modify itself there.
Epidemiologist Dr. Anand Thatte was of the opinion that even if a case of Delta plus is detected in Vidarbha now, it will lead to a third wave or anything drastic.
“Even though Delta plus is a new mutation, the changes are not so dramatic that it will escape the immunity our people have gained after the second wave,” he added.
In all, the experts concluded that the Vidarbha region, especially Nagpur district and city is likely to be safe from the onslaught of the deadly virus for the coming many weeks.
At present, the Covid task force is studying the expected impact of Delta plus to understand how harmful an impact it can have if it continues spreading unabated.
“Complete information of these index cases is being taken. Contact tracing, travel history, vaccination status, and infection status are being checked. Detailed information is being collected about the mutations of Delta and Delta plus,” said a senior member of the state task force.
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday categorized the Delta Plus variant of the novel coronavirus, so far detected in three states in the country, as a ‘variant of concern’ and directed states to take up immediate containment measures in clusters where the variant has been detected.
Delta Plus variant or B.1.617.2.1 is closely related to the Delta variant, a major contributor to the second wave of Covid-19 in India. Like Delta, the Delta Plus variant has a mutation in the spike protein region of the RNA virus, which potentially makes it more transmissible.