New Delhi: Even though the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be more transmissible than other variants of concern, it cannot be speculated that this variant by itself can give rise to a third wave of COVID-19 in the country, Lok Sabha was informed on Friday. The surge in cases also depends on the available susceptible population including a host of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions like vaccination, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply.
The SARS-CoV-2 being an RNA virus is prone to mutations, the ministry said, underlining that laboratories undertake genetic analysis of circulating virus to detect such changes which develop naturally and continuously and may have significant public health implications.
“Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be more transmissible than other variants of concern. However, it cannot be speculated that this variant by itself can give rise to third wave of COVID-19 in the country since the surge in cases is also dependent on available susceptible population including host of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions including vaccination,” the minister said, according to a PTI report. The government of India under the INSACOG network of laboratories is also undertaking genomic sequencing of positive samples. Information on genome sequencing for mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 is regularly shared with the states.
The issue of mutant variants is also flagged through regular formal communications to all states and UTs. The MoHFW has alerted all the states and UTs to keep a watch on any unusual surge in COVID-19 cases from districts in which the delta-plus variant was detected as well as from other districts.