After fighting against the second wave of the pandemic, Maharashtra stands perturbed with the growing cases of the Delta Plus variant. Suspected to have the potential of causing a third wave, the mutant has been detected in 21 patients across 7 districts of the state, reportedly. The Delta Plus variant has been termed as a 'variant of concern', alerting the state administration and the Health Ministry to execute measures for its control and containment.
Augmented tracking, tracing & testing to clamp the virus spread
Moving ahead with the current policy, the state authorities are deploying the tracking, tracing and testing methods to clamp the infection rates. As per reports, there is not much information about the cause and symptoms related to the new variant. Reportedly, it has been stated that the Delta Plus variant did not lead to fatality in any of the patients till now. While Ratnagiri and Jalgaon registered maximum patients of the new variant, 2 cases have been detected in Mumbai as well.
In order to achieve clarity about the characteristics of the new variant, a large number of samples are being sent for research through genome sampling. As per reports, the government has directed officials to ensure that the samples of infected patients are delivered to the labs of INSACOG for deciphering the form of the new mutant. Indian Sars-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics, INSACIG, was established to study the genome sequencing of the virus.
Strict measures to be executed, once more data is received
Further, the state has called for caution but no alarm and more steps will be implemented in the future depending on the situation. Simultaneously, the Union Health Ministry has also directed the states for amplified interventions in areas having cases of this mutant with higher virulence. Notably, around 8,000 daily infections are being recorded in Maharashtra and any lag or disruption may lead to an uncontrolled outbreak. Therefore, it is important for the citizens to follow all guidelines and protocols.
Reportedly, the same treatment protocol is being used for Delta and Delta Plus variants, given the dearth of specific information. As per reports, the Delta Plus variant has been found to be resistant to monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment, which has been publicised recently.
In view of the escalating new variants, the National Institute of Virology, Pune and the Indian Council for Medical Research will study the efficacy of vaccines against them. Given the uncertain circumstances of the current times, vaccines are the strongest and the safest weapon against the deadly virus.