Delta Plus Variant Of COVID-19 Is Not Yet ‘Variant Of Concern’, Nullifies Monoclonal Antibody Use: Government

Delta Plus Variant Of COVID-19 Is Not Yet ‘Variant Of Concern’, Nullifies Monoclonal Antibody Use: Government

An additional mutation of Delta variant of COVID-19 known as 'Delta Plus' has been detected. Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog Member said, “this is a variant of interest that has not yet been classified as a variant of concern”
Coronavirus Outbreak, News
- in Coronavirus Outbreak, News
Delta Plus Variant Of COVID-19 Is Not Yet 'Variant Of Concern', Nullifies Monoclonal Antibody Use: GovernmentThe Delta variant of COVID-19 is a variant of concern as per the World Health Organisation
  • Delta variant was first detected in India, said to be highly transmissible
  • Now, a Delta Plus has been detected, seen in Europe since March: Dr Paul
  • The effect and change of Delta plus has to be watched: Dr VK Paul

New Delhi: The Delta plus variant of Covid is not yet a ‘variant of concern’, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday (June 15), noting that its presence has to be assessed and tracked in the country. At a press conference, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said a new mutation has been detected called Delta plus variant and it has been there since March in Europe. This was brought into the public domain just a few days ago, he said.

Also Read: Delta Plus, New COVID Variant Identified, Experts Say No Cause Of Concern For Now


This is a variant of interest that has not yet been classified as a variant of concern. A variant of concern is in which we have understood that there are adverse consequences to humanity by increase in transmissibility and severity. This is not known yet about the Delta plus variant, Dr Paul said.

“But scientifically the effect and change of Delta plus has to be watched through our INSACOG system. This has to be detected and we have to see its presence in the country,” he said.

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium (INSACOG) was set up by the government on December 25 last year to study and monitor genome sequencing and virus variation of circulating strains of COVID-19 in India. Dr Paul said that in the public domain it has come that the Delta plus variant can nullify the usage of monoclonal antibodies.

What we need to do is to focus on our own behaviour, not give opportunities for the virus to spread, prevent crowding and parties, and wear masks. If we break the chain of transmission, then less variants will be formed, he said.

Also Read: Two Doses Of COVID Vaccine ‘Highly Effective’ In Reducing Hospitalisation From The Delta Variant: UK Analysis

“The root cause has to be dealt with and that is breaking the chain of transmission. We are concerned about it (Delta plus variant) keeping a track on how it progresses in other countries, and if it is present in India, then where all it is there,” Dr Paul said.

On the Novavax vaccine, he said its efficacy data is promising and the data available in public domain also indicates that it is safe and highly effective.

What we are learning from the available data that this vaccine is very safe and it is highly effective but what makes this vaccine relevant for today is the fact that this vaccine will be produced in India by the Serum Institute of India, Dr Paul said.

The preparatory work has already been accomplished by the Serum Institute and it is also conducting a bridging trial, which is in advanced stages of completion, he said. Dr Paul said the efficacy and positive results of this study will mean very well for the nation.

I am also hoping that they will also start trials on children which is of a special interest to all of us. The pace of vaccination should see a renewed energy from next week onwards when we will realign our and states’ efforts, he said.

Also Read: Amid Unlock In Delhi, Doctors Warn Of ‘Worse Than Second Wave’ Of COVID-19 If Norms Not Followed

“Effective scale-up at the ground level is also expected. Teams both at the Centre and states are working on building new guidelines for high-speed vaccination coverage across the country,” Dr Paul said.

Urging people to keep following Covid appropriate behaviour, Dr Paul said it must be kept in mind that the variants now are more transmissible than the ones from last year.

We are dealing here with relatively highly transmissible ones so in that effort we must be more alert and keep following Covid appropriate behaviour, he said.

On Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI), joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said any untoward medical occurrence may not be directly linked to vaccination and its causality analysis is done to ascertain whether it was due to vaccination or it was due to some other reason.

Also Read: Delta Variant 60 Per Cent More Transmissible, Reduces Vaccine Effect: UK Experts

We ascertain if it is a minor adverse event or it is a serious or severe adverse event. Then it is monitored and causes are ascertained. The vaccines approved by us, their safety parameters are very good. When 23.5 crore doses were given then AEFI deaths was 0.0002 per cent which comes to 488 deaths which does not mean these deaths were because of vaccination, he said.

On missed Covid deaths, Mr Agarwal said the Centre has asked states to do a death audit to prevent avoidable fatalities.

To ensure some cases are not missed, they need to be reported on time. We have asked states to report any missed deaths. Deaths cannot stay hidden and that can be seen in the case of Bihar which conducted an analysis at the district level and reported these deaths. It was also seen in Maharashtra and Kerala and they are monitoring if any deaths were missed, he said.

Over alleged fake Covid test results during the Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand, Mr Agarwal said the District Magistrate of Haridwar has been asked to give a detailed report on the matter and the exact figure of these tests is to be determined yet. Action will be taken against those responsible, he said.

Also Read: Unplanned Vaccination Can Promote Mutant Strains Of Coronavirus: Health Experts In Report To PM

Highlighting the improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the country, Mr Agarwal said an almost 85 per cent decline in daily Covid cases has been noted since the highest reported peak on May 7 and the number of districts reporting more than 100 daily cases has reduced from 531 as recorded in the week ending May 4 to 165 in the week ending June 13. There has been a decline of 75.6 per cent from the peak of Covid active cases recorded on May 10 across the county, he said.

Currently, there are 20 states and UTs where active cases are less than 5,000 and a drastic reduction is being noted in almost all states, Mr Agarwal said. Due to restrictions being imposed at the field level in terms of containment activities, a sharp decline of 78 per cent has been noted since the highest reported weekly covid case positivity of 21.4 per cent, which was recorded between May 4 and 10 during the second wave, he said.

Also Read: No Need To Vaccinate People Who Had Documented COVID-19 Infection, Suggests Health Experts

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.


3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90


34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118


29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42


West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12


14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95



10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3


9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67


9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25



8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25


Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10



7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1


7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71



6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2


5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63



5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19


3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38



3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1


1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2


1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92



99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12


79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292



65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13


61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3


Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3


40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3


28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4


26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1


20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5


Dadra And Nagar Haveli


15 9

10,631 9



10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8


Andaman And Nicobar Islands


6 1

7,404 1


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