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.
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 Madhya Pradesh, 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.
Following the detection, local authorities in Bhopal are on alert.
Speaking to India Today TV, Chief Medical Officer, Bhopal, Dr Prabhakar Tiwari said they collected samples of patients admitted at the Gandhi Medical College in three batches this month. These samples were sent for genome sequencing to NCDC.
"We received the report on Wednesday, and it revealed that one sample showed infection caused by the Delta Plus variant. The remaining samples showed presence of Delta and other variants of the virus," Dr Tiwari said.
Medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said officials are examining the contact details of the woman and her family members, and the people whom they came in contact are being traced.
"We are trying to find out whether the variant has spread to other parts of the state," the minister said.
What is Delta Plus variant?
In May, the World Health Organisation tagged B.1.617.2 strain of the virus as the 'Delta' variant. The variant was identified as one of the drivers of the second wave of coronavirus infections in India.
The 'Delta' variant has further mutated to form the 'Delta Plus' or 'AY.1' variant.
Initial data suggests that the Delta Plus variant shows signs of resistance against the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment. This treatment for Covid-19 was recently authorised by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
Public Health England, in its latest report on coronavirus variants, said the Delta Plus variant was identified in six genomes from India as of June 7.
According to Dr VK Paul, Member (health) Niti Aayog, the Delta Plus variant was first recorded in Europe in March, and was brought into the public domain on June 13. "It is a variant of interest, not a variant of concern," he said.