The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on June 16 said in a statement that the newly detected Delta Plus Variant of coronavirus is not a cause of concern. However, the variant is flagged as a Variant of Interest, and if it exhibits adverse effects in future, it will be flagged as a Variant of Concern.
The Delta variant
The Delta variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was the main reason behind the severity of the second wave in India. This variant had increased transmissibility and more severe infections. Currently, the Delta variant has dominated the number of infections all over the world. In England, as of June 14, there were 33,630 cases of delta variants in a week. England is counting Delta Plus under Delta variants.
What is the Delta Plus Variant?
Delta Plus is a new mutation named K417N in the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
According to Vinod Scaria, a scientist at the Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, the new variant can render an experimental medicine — an antibody cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab — ineffective. The medicine recently got approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for emergency usage in India. The new mutation has also tried to strengthen its ability to escape the immune response Scaria added.
Mutation in Coronavirus
Coronavirus, like all the other kinds of viruses, keeps mutating — a process in which genetic information of the virus changes because of repeated copying errors. These mutations result in new variants, some of which can spread more easily, or cause more severe symptoms of covid-19 disease and a higher fatality rate.
Govt statement: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1727444