Advertisement
Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

To Tackle Spread Of Delta Plus Covid Variant, Centre Asks 8 States, UTs To Increase Testing

Fifty-one cases of Delta Plus Covid variant have been detected across 12 states in the country, with Maharashtra reporting the highest number of 22, the Centre said

To Tackle Spread Of Delta Plus Covid Variant, Centre Asks 8 States, UTs To Increase Testing
A medic collects a swab sample from a man for Covid-19 testing, in New Delhi. | PTI
To Tackle Spread Of Delta Plus Covid Variant, Centre Asks 8 States, UTs To Increase Testing
outlookindia.com
2021-06-26T07:18:32+05:30

Amid concerns of the Delta plus Covid variant spreading across India, the Centre on Friday directed eight states and Union Territories to increase vaccine coverage on apriority basis in districts where the new variant has been detected.

The Union health ministry has asked Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Haryana to ramp up containment measures and to prevent large gatherings to ensure that the new variant doesn’t spread.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to these states, also urged authorities to make sure that adequate Covid test samples are sent to the designated laboratories of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) so that clinical epidemiological correlations can be established.

Bhushan said the Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh, Surat in Gujarat, Faridabad in Haryana, Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Bikaner in Rajasthan, Patiala and Ludhiana in Punjab, Mysuru in Karnataka, Chennai, Madurai and Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.

"You are aware that INSACOG is a consortium of laboratories for whole genome sequencing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. INSACOG is tasked with not just the whole genome sequencing but also giving timely inputs on appropriate public health response in specific geographies where variants have been found.

"It has been intimated by INSACOG that the Delta Plus variant, which is currently a variant of concern (VOC), has the following characteristics -- increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response," he said.

Bhushan stressed the public health response in this case, while broadly remaining the same, has to become more focused and stringent.

"Thus, you are requested to take up immediate containment measures in these districts and clusters including preventing crowds and intermingling of people, (conducting) widespread testing, prompt (contact) tracing as well as (increasing) vaccine coverage on a priority basis.

"You are also requested to ensure that adequate samples of positive persons are sent to the designated laboratories of INSACOG promptly so that the clinical epidemiological correlations can be established," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Centre said 51 cases of the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus have been found in 45,000 samples sequenced so far in the country with Maharashtra reporting the highest number of 22.

It emphasised there are still very limited cases of this mutation and it cannot be inferred that it is showing an upward trend.

Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said 22 cases of the Delta Plus variant has been found in Maharashtra, followed by nine in Tamil Nadu, seven in Madhya Pradesh, three in Kerala, two each in Punjab and Gujarat, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Karnataka.

(With PTI inputs) 

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

How Parag Agrawal Obsessively Focused On Controlling Hate Speech As Twitter CTO

How Parag Agrawal Obsessively Focused On Controlling Hate Speech As Twitter CTO

After taking over as CTO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal’s main focus was on using AI and ML to identify hate speech and bots that were used to spread misinformation through the microblogging site.

'Omicron Virus' Or 'South Africa Variant'? Here's What Not To Call New Covid-19 Strain

'Omicron Virus' Or 'South Africa Variant'? Here's What Not To Call New Covid-19 Strain

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has led to several discussions on WHO's method of naming virus variants on Greek alphabets. But terms like 'South Africa virus' have remained in use.

IPL 2022 Retention: Who Stays And Who Goes - Full List

IPL 2022 Retention: Who Stays And Who Goes - Full List

IPL Retention list was replete with full of expected names but there were some big omissions too. The mega auction will have a massive pool of stars that teams can now choose from.

Kashmir: Why Is BJP Predicting Doomsday For J&K 2 Years After Article 370 Abrogation

Kashmir: Why Is BJP Predicting Doomsday For J&K 2 Years After Article 370 Abrogation

The statement, issued by senior BJP leader of J&K Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, raises concern for minorities living in Kashmir Valley.

Advertisement