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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”

Delta Plus Variant Of COVID-19 Is Not Yet 'Variant Of Concern', Nullifies Monoclonal Antibody Use: Government
Highlights
  • 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

World

26,78,24,983Cases
22,84,48,447Active
3,40,97,388Recovered
52,79,148Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,78,24,983 and 52,79,148 have died; 22,84,48,447 are active cases and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 3:47 am.

India

3,46,66,241 9,419Cases
94,742 1,009Active
3,40,97,388 8,251Recovered
4,74,111 159Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,66,241 confirmed cases including 4,74,111 deaths. The number of active cases is 94,742 and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,40,888 893

9,964 157

64,89,720 1,040

1,41,204 10

Kerala

51,78,892 5,038

41,615 887

50,95,263 4,039

42,014 112

Karnataka

29,99,098 399

7,284 155

29,53,565 238

38,249 6

Tamil Nadu

27,32,648 703

7,946 36

26,88,142 728

36,560 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,74,217 181

2,011 3

20,57,749 176

14,457 2

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,502 10

139 7

16,87,452 3

22,911

West Bengal

16,20,803 574

7,576 0

15,93,659 568

19,568 6

Delhi

14,41,514 65

404 28

14,16,010 36

25,100 1

Odisha

10,50,760 255

1,931 11

10,40,403 264

8,426 2

Chhattisgarh

10,07,075 37

341 9

9,93,140 27

13,594 1

Rajasthan

9,54,984 40

236 16

9,45,792 24

8,956

Gujarat

8,27,873 67

417 45

8,17,361 22

10,095

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,288 14

140 1

7,82,619 13

10,529

Haryana

7,71,904 29

223 15

7,61,626 14

10,055

Bihar

7,26,259 9

36 6

7,14,133 3

12,090

Telangana

6,77,546 205

3,871 19

6,69,673 185

4,002 1

Assam

6,18,042 134

2,541 24

6,09,374 158

6,127

Punjab

6,03,578 22

350 0

5,86,614 20

16,614 2

Jharkhand

3,49,383 16

129 7

3,44,113 23

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,402 17

192 3

3,36,799 14

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,38,198 151

1,639 38

3,32,070 111

4,489 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,753 69

722 14

2,23,174 81

3,857 2

Goa

1,79,307 65

441 37

1,75,478 28

3,388

Mizoram

1,37,377 320

3,049 10

1,33,819 309

509 1

Puducherry

1,29,128 23

230 1

1,27,022 22

1,876

Manipur

1,25,429 23

325 5

1,23,119 28

1,985

Tripura

84,888 14

94 11

83,968 3

826

Meghalaya

84,631 12

240 11

82,916 23

1,475

Chandigarh

65,515 7

67 2

64,628 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,298 3

29 2

54,989 5

280

Sikkim

32,390 8

200 2

31,785 6

405

Nagaland

32,143 1

116 2

31,328 3

699

Ladakh

21,749 14

230 17

21,304 31

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,405

11 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,691 1

3 0

7,559 1

129

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