More than 40 samples have tested positive for the emerging Delta Plus variant in India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare sources said adding that clusters of cases were seen in Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh.
“More than 40 cases of Delta Plus variant have been detected, and they are not just limited to Kerala, Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh…they are being found in other states as well, but they are detected in a scattered manner,” a top Ministry of Health and Family Welfare official told .
The Centre had yesterday declared the ‘Delta Plus’ variant as a Variant Of Concern (VOC).
In an official statement on the rising number of Delta Plus cases in the country, the Union Health Ministry said Delta Plus is “currently a variant of concern”.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the briefing yesterday said Delta Plus was only a ‘variant of interest’ stating that Maharashtra had 21, Madhya Pradesh had three and Kerala had reported six cases of the emerging variant.
The presence of the Delta Plus variant has been noted in several states including Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and in the Jammu region.
“From Punjab, one case has been detected, in Tamil Nadu, three cases have come to light. Similarly in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Punjab one case each has been detected,” the official said.
When asked about the role of state governments amidst the increased number of new variants, the top official said strict implementation of containment strategies should be the focus.
“The states need to be watchful, the rise in the number of cases of Delta Plus is worrying but the focus must be on containment strategies,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh for implementation of containment measures, enhance testing, tracking, and vaccination in districts and clusters where the Delta Plus variant has been detected.
“Union Health Secretary has communicated to Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh that the Delta Plus variant has been found in genome sequenced samples from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon Districts of Maharashtra; Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala; and Bhopal and Shivpuri districts of Madhya Pradesh,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement.