New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh has reported its first case where a COVID-19 patient has been infected with the 'Delta Pus' variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is the virus that causes COVID-19. The Delta Plus variant has been detected in a woman in Bhopal. She and her family members have presently tested negative for the viral infection. The local authorities in Bhopal are on alert following the detection of the virus. According to reports, only six cases of Delta plus variant were detected in the country so far.
Delta Plus is a mutated form of the 'Delta' variant that is largely being held responsible for fueling the second wave of coronavirus infections in India.
In the context of public discourse regarding detection of new variants, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul has reminded that the newly detected 'Delta Plus' variant is not yet classified as a Variant of Concern (VOC). The variant was observed in Europe in March and has been notified and brought into public domain on June 13 this month.
As 'Delta Plus' is not yet classified as a VOC, Paul said, the way forward is to watch the potential presence of 'Delta Plus' in the country and take the appropriate public health response. "The present status is that yes, a new variant has been found. This is as of now a Variant of Interest (VoI), not as yet classified a VoC," Paul clarified it in a COVID-19 media briefing.
The VOC is one in which we have understood that there are adverse consequences to humanity, which could be due to increased transmissibility or virulence, said Paul, adding "We do not know at this moment about the Delta Plus variant."
Paul stressed on the need to watch the effect the variant in a scientific manner as it has been found outside our country. He said that this variant is a reminder to us about the importance of infection control and containment measures and behaviour.