The union government on Tuesday said that a new “variant of interest” has been found outside the country, that is an additional mutation to the now dominant Delta variant. “Delta variant played major a role in the second wave. An additional mutation of this variant, namely Delta Plus, has been found and submitted to global data system,” Dr V K Paul, member of NITI Aayog has said.
“It has emerged in Europe in March and was brought into the public domain on June 13,” Dr VK Paul added. However, Dr Paul said that this new Delta Plus strain is yet to be classified as a “variant of concern,” adding that the government is keeping a close eye on the progress of the said variant.
“As per data available in public domain, this variant nullifies the use of monoclonal antibody. We will study and learn more about this,” Dr Paul further said. Addressing a press briefing on the Covid-19 situation in India, government officials said that the country has seen a massive drop in daily cases but cautioned against letting the guard down so as to not fritter away the gains. “There has been an almost 85 per cent decline in daily Covid-19 cases since the highest reported peak on May 7 and currently, there are 20 states and UTs where active cases are less than 5,000,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry, said.