Too early to predict if Delta Plus will contribute to 3rd Covid-wave, depends on many other factors: ICMR Scientist

By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI):
It is too early to say whether Delta Plus, the new mutant version of the Delta strain of COVID-19 first detected in India and labelled as a “variant of concern” by the Centre will be responsible for a third wave of Coronavirus, which according to experts will depend on several other factors.
“Still there is no concern now for the third wave and its too early to predict the third wave , third wave depends on many other factors,” said Dr Sumit Aggarwal, Scientist and Program officer, Division of Epidemiology and Communicable disease, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Delta Plus is a variant of COVID-19 identified by experts and which is said to be more infectious. Several studies are underway on the mutant variant.
Most of the COVID-19 cases of the mutant variant in India have been found are from Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. The health ministry has advised to ramp up containment measures in the affected districts of the above-mentioned states.
This variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant and its severity is still unknown.
According to Dr Aggarwal said, “It’s a normal tendency of a every mRNA virus that mutation will happen. These mutations are inevitable, we cannot control the mutation. So, as the time progresses, we will proceed further. So there will be a variation. Initially there was alpha, then delta and now delta plus.”
Dr Sumit also said that in future more mutations can be seen and this virus is a ‘variant of concern’.
“So, now in future we may see more mutations. Yes, definitely it’s a new virus and MoHFW has also released a statement that this is a virus of concern because this is a new variant and we have started the studies. We confirmed 40 cases of Delta plus variant in three states are involved, Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.
“There are three characters of the variant which we have recognised till now. High transmissibility, it shows high affinity towards the lung cells and less response to the monoclonal antibodies therapy,” Dr Sumit added.

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