Maharashtra sees 10 more Delta Plus cases, tally now 76 | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra sees 10 more Delta Plus cases, tally now 76

ByJyoti Shelar, Mumbai
Aug 17, 2021 01:09 AM IST

Ten more Delta Plus cases have been identified in Maharashtra taking the tally to 76

Ten more Delta Plus cases have been identified in Maharashtra taking the tally to 76. Of the new cases, six are from Kolhapur, three from Ratnagiri and one from Sindhudurg. All the 10 patients have recovered completely.

BMC health worker checks thermal temperature of a passenger arrived from outstation train at Dadar station. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
BMC health worker checks thermal temperature of a passenger arrived from outstation train at Dadar station. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

The Delta variant is now a variant of concern globally and is currently the predominant strain in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant is more than two times contagious than the previous variants. The Delta has further mutated to B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 which is known as Delta Plus. There are now a total of 13 sub-lineages identified globally from AY.1 to AY.12 and AY.3.1.

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“In Maharashtra, we have found at least five sub-lineages including AY.1. AY.2, AY.3 and AY.12,” state’s surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate told Hindustan Times. Of the 76 patients with Delta Plus identified so far, 39 have required hospitalisation, while the rest recuperated at home. Five of the patients have succumbed to the infection.

As of July 31, a total of 11,968 samples have been sent for genome sequencing from Maharashtra. Of these, 8,089 were detected with the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of the novel coronavirus. The state has at least 20 cases are of the AY.3 sub-lineage that has been on the rise in the US for the past few weeks. The state’s samples also have 31 cases of the AY.1 sub-lineage and 10 cases of AY.2 sub-lineage. Medical experts said that it is difficult to analyse the impact of these sub-lineages as the number of samples are few.

According to Awate, the sub-lineages- AY.1, AY.2, AY.3, AY.12- found in Maharashtra have all been clubbed under the Delta Plus category owing to the lack of nomenclature attached to these newer mutations.

“Data from the UK suggests that the Delta Plus variant is more virulent and can have immune escape response to vaccines and monoclonal antibodies,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Covid-19 task force of Maharashtra. “But it is too early to comment on its behaviour as we have few identified cases,” he said. In June, the Union health ministry declared that Delta Plus was a variant of concern for the country as it had characteristics like increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and a potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

A recent study carried out by researchers based in Boston that is yet to be peer-reviewed observed that transmission of the Delta variant sub-lineage AY.3 may occur among vaccinated persons even in the more controlled environment of an inpatient medical-surgical ward. “It remains to be determined whether the Delta variant AY.3 lineage is more transmissible than the Delta Variant B.1.617.2,” the researchers said in the paper. “Our findings do raise concern that without stricter risk mitigation, nosocomial (originating in a hospital) transmission of the Delta variant and Delta sub-lineages will occur more frequently than with prior, less transmissible variants, even in vaccinated persons,” researchers said.

A state health official said that aggressive contact tracing has been carried out in the identified Delta Plus cases. A few cluster infections have been found linked to the Delta Plus cases. Of the 76 patients identified so far, 10 were fully vaccinated while 12 were partially vaccinated.

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