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Delta Plus Variant Spreading, 21 Cases Surface In Maharashtra

Mumbai: Maharashtra has reported 21 cases of the Delta plus variant, the mutant version of COVID responsible for the devastating second wave of the pandemic.

Confirming it, state health minister Rajesh Tope told the media that these cases have been detected from 7,500 samples tested since May 15.

Nine such cases have been reported from Jalgaon, seven from Mumbai and one each from Sindhudurg, Thane and Palgarh districts.

Travel history, vaccination status of those infected and whether they have been re-infected will be analysed to know more about the variant, he said.

The minister said that genome sequencing has also begun by collecting 100 samples from each district and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) is being involved in this process.

The Union Health Ministry has still not classified the Delta plus variant as a ‘variant of concern’.

Such cases have also been reported from Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, media reports said.

Delta Plus possesses not only all of the characteristics of the original Delta variant but also a mutation (K417N), which was discovered in the Beta variant in South Africa, an India Today report said, adding that it could evade both vaccine and infection immunity.