Covid 19 Delta plus (B.1.617.2.1/(AY.1) is a new mutant strain of the Delta Variant of Sars-Cov2.
In technical terms, it is the next generation of SARS-COV-2.
The above mutant was 1st detected in Europe in the month of March 2021 and it has come to light on June 13. Even though the investigation are going on, the experts are of the opinion that Delta Plus Variant has increased transmissibility.
What is known so far?
The new Delta Plus variant has been formed as a result of mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant.
- As this one is a new variant, its severity is not known.
- Delta Plus (AY.1) is also resistant to the monoclonal antibodies cocktail.
- The GISAID (global science initiative) have identified 63 genomes of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant along with the new K417.
- The mutation is in the spike protein of SARS-COV-2, it helps the virus enter as well as infect the human cell’s
- One of the emerging variants is B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 is characterized by the acquisition of K417N mutation.
- According to Public Health England (PHE), Delta plus was present in nearing to 6 genomes from India as of 7th June.
- In India, the variant frequency is not much at this point in time. The sequences are mostly from varied nations such as America, Europe and Asia.
- During the late March, this year, the earliest sequence of this genome was found.
What are the symptoms?
As per the Zoe App in the UK, numerous people have reported symptoms such as
- Sore throat,
- Runny nose,
How concerning is the COVID Delta Plus variant?
Recently, the Government officially said that the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus is a ‘variant of concern’ (VoC).
As per the officials, the new COVID variant has three characteristic features, which makes it more dangerous and concerning than the previous variants.
– Increased transmissibility
– Stronger binding to receptors of lung cells
– Potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response
As of now, India is one of the nine countries where the Delta Plus variant has been detected.
Reportedly, the variant has been detected in the US, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia.
Is Covid-19 vaccine effective against Delta Plus?
According to medical Experts, that is of the opinion, that it is too early to predict the effectiveness of the existing vaccines on the new variant. A detailed study would be needed, to establish any effect of the mutant on the one’s immune system.
However, Union Health Ministry Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, has stated that both Indian vaccines, Covishield as well as Covaxin are effective against the Delta Variant.
There exist fear, that this new variant Delta Plus might spark the 3rd wave of Covid-19, but there is very low incidence of such cases, hence there is no certainity.
What are the government strategies to prevent the spread of the Delta Plus variant?
Reportedly the Delta Plus variant has been detected in about 22 COVID cases in Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh.
The Union Ministry has warned the three states and has advised, “The Chief Secretaries of the states have been advised to take up immediate containment measures in these districts and clusters, as identified by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia), including preventing crowds and intermingling of people, widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccine coverage on priority basis.”