Maharashtra government stated on Wednesday that it is collecting hundreds of samples from each district of the state for genome sequencing to determine how far the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus has spread. This is taking place a day after the Centre declared Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVIUD-19 infection, as a "variant of concern" and had advised Maharashtra to take preventive measures against its spread.
The Maharashtra government has also stated that it is making all efforts to contain the spread of the Delta Plus variant in the state. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope explained that the concern of the state government is to determine how far the Delta Plus variant had already spread, according to India Today TV. "For this the state government has decided to collect hundred samples from each district of the state for genome sequencing...The process of collecting samples from each district has already started," he said.
Tope added that 21 cases of the Delta Plus variant have been registered in Maharashtra. These were detected after genome sequencing of around 7,500 samples which had been collected since May 15.
What is Maharashtra doing to tackle the Delta Plus variant?
The State Health Minister explained that concerned officers have been ordered to take note of index cases of the Delta plus variant and to monitor them very closely.
"What this means is that all the details about the cases should be ready for examination and study. Their travel history, the aggressive contact tracing of high risk and low-risk contacts has been ordered as well. We are looking very closely to see if these index cases were reinfected, did they get infected even after taking the vaccine, has the Delta Plus variant escaped the vaccine? This study is what needs to be done right now and our department with the help of ICMR, ICSR and NIV are continuously working in coordination." conveyed Rajesh Tope.
Is Delta Plus variant more dangerous?
Rajesh Tope explained that the prima facie information that the government has regarding the Delta Plus variant is that it has less transmissibility and more virulence. "Hence the serious patients will be seen more in such kind of virus," explained Tope. The Health Minister added that so far there have been deaths in the state due to the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus.
Treatment for Delta Plus Variant
Answering a question on whether the line of treatment will change due to the appearance of the Delta Plus variant, Tope said, "It has been noticed that the line of treatment that was continuing for Covid19 patients has to be continued here as well. No special treatment is needed for the variant. This is what is being told by the scientific fraternity who are making in-depth studies".
Giving an update of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the state, Tope said, "We had the highest number of vaccinations done on 22 June. It was the highest for the state ever since the process of being stated. But we have the capacity to vaccinate ten lakhs and as an when we get more vaccines we will further increase our capacity."(Edited by Mohammad Haaris Beg)
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