The Delta Plus variant of the novel coronavirus has been notified as a Variant of Concern (VOC) in India, the Union Health Ministry said in a release on Tuesday evening. The Union Health Ministry issued a statement that there have been 22 cases of Delta Plus detected in India and the government has alerted the states where the cases have been reported.
The new Delta Plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG), a consortium of 28 laboratories for genome sequencing, has said that the Delta Plus variant has increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and a potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response. Though there is no indication yet of the severity of the disease due to the new variant, Delta Plus has been found to be resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19 recently authorised in India.
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