Delta Plus variant of Covid traced in Chennai

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on June 26, 2021

India reported 50 cases of this variant with Maharashtra in lead with 20 followed by Tamil Nadu with 9 cases

Delta Plus variant of Coronavirus has been found in samples from Chennai, Kancheepuram and Madurai districts in Tamil Nadu, the Union Health Ministry had informed the State government on Friday. As on Friday, India reported 50 cases of Delta Plus variant with Maharashtra reporting the maximum numbers with 20 followed by Tamil Nadu with 9 cases.

State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan also confirmed on Friday that eight samples have returned positive for the Delta Plus variant. Three days ago, a 32-year-old woman had returned positive for the variant.

The Delta Plus variant, which is currently a variant of concern, has increased transmissibility; stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response, Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, wrote to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu.

The State government has also been asked to ensure that adequate samples of positive persons are sent to the designated labs of INSACOG - a consortium of labs for whole genome sequencing for Covid-19 pandemic - for establishing clinical epidemiological correlations, the letter said.

The State government has to take up immediate containment measures in these districts and clusters, including preventing crowds and intermingling of people, widespread testing, prompt tracing and vaccine coverage on a priority basis.

The advisory has come at a time when the State government on Friday announced opening up malls and complexes in four districts - Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet - where the number of Coronavirus cases have declined significantly. The daily addition of new cases in these four districts have been less when compared with other districts.

Prabhdeep Kaur, an ICMR scientist, tweeted that if the virus continues to circulate, it would continue to mutate. Whatever may be the variant, the only way to prevent the surge is by efficient surveillance, aggressive testing, contact tracing and early isolation.

Published on June 26, 2021

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