Covid in Maharashtra: Three more Delta Plus related deaths, tally now five | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Covid in Maharashtra: Three more Delta Plus related deaths, tally now five

ByJyoti Shelar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Aug 14, 2021 06:48 AM IST

The Raigad patient was a 69-year-old journalist from Nagothane. He had diabetes and hypertension and was admitted to a civil hospital for nearly 17 days.

Three more deaths linked to the Delta Plus variant of the novel coronavirus were reported from Maharashtra on Friday, taking the total count to five. The deceased –all senior citizens – were from Raigad, Beed and Ratnagiri districts.

A health worker collects swab samples of passengers arriving at Dadar station. (BHUSHAN KOYANDE/HT)
A health worker collects swab samples of passengers arriving at Dadar station. (BHUSHAN KOYANDE/HT)

The Raigad patient was a 69-year-old journalist from Nagothane. He had diabetes and hypertension and was admitted to a civil hospital for nearly 17 days. He succumbed on July 22. According to civil surgeon Dr Suhas Mane, the deceased was fully vaccinated in May. During the contact-tracing exercise, the Raigad health officials found four family members of the journalist infected with Covid-19. “We have sent their samples for genome sequencing. However, none of them had severe disease and all of them recovered at home,” said Raigad’s district health officer Dr Sudhakar More.

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The deceased from Beed was a 78-year-old man, who was hospitalised on June 5 and discharged on June 29. He succumbed at his home on July 5. “He did not have any known comorbid conditions. He had recovered and gone home, but died suddenly,” said Dr Raus Shaikh, acting district health officer of Beed, adding that he was unvaccinated. None of his contacts have tested positive for Covid-19.

The fatality from Ratnagiri was a 73-year-old man from Sangameshwar taluka. While health officials could not get his vaccination details, they said that he was admitted to Mumbai’s St George Hospital for treatment and had succumbed on May 29.

Maharashtra’s first Delta Plus fatality – an 80-year-old woman – was also from Ratnagiri’s Sangameshwar taluka. Since then, 12 Delta Plus cases have been identified from the district and a majority are from Sangameshwar. The state’s second death was a 63-year-old fully vaccinated woman from Mumbai.

The total number of Delta Plus cases from Maharashtra now stands at 66, including a latest patient identified from Thane district.

Delta Plus or AY.1 is a mutation of the highly transmissible Delta variant (B.1.617.2). More than 80% of samples from Maharashtra have the Delta variant, labelled as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization in May. The Delta Plus was labelled as a variant of concern by the Union Health Ministry in June.

Two of the three Delta Plus deaths in Maharashtra – the latest one from Raigad and the one from Mumbai – have been reported in fully vaccinated people. Covid-19 infections that occur 14 days after being fully vaccinated are known as breakthrough infections. “Vaccines are an important tool to fight the ongoing pandemic as they reduce the risk of infection as well as complications,” said infectious disease expert Dr Om Shrivastav, who is also a member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 task force. “But the chances of re-infection or breakthrough infections remain, which is why one must continue to adhere to Covid norms such as wearing a mask, washing hands and maintaining a physical distance. People with comorbid conditions have to be even more careful,” he said.

According to Shrivastav, the United States has been struggling with a lot of Delta and Delta Plus cases. “We don’t know how intense our third wave will be. Therefore, we should not be complacent on any aspects related to the pandemic,” he said.

Some experts said that the variants and related deaths highlight the need for booster doses of the vaccine, especially for the immunocompromised population.

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