August 12, 2021 8:52:20 am
Twenty new cases of Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus have been reported across the state, of which 11 are from Mumbai and six each are from Pune and Thane, taking the total count to 65.
Barring one death that was reported earlier from Ratnagiri, most of the persons with Delta Plus have mild symptoms, Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, told The Indian Express. He has urged residents not to panic as the state government had aggressively stepped up genomic surveillance. The Delta Plus variant known as B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1, contains a mutation in the spike protein that the virus uses to enter human cells — it is called K417N.
Across Maharashtra, there are 13 cases of Delta Plus variant in Jalgaon and 12 in Ratnagiri district. Besides Mumbai, Pune and Thane, one case each has been detected in Chandrapur, Akola, Sindhudurg, Sangli, Nandurbar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Beed districts. Two cases each were reported in Gondia,Nanded and Raigad while three were identified in Palghar.
Of the 65 cases, 32 people infected with Delta Plus are male while the rest are female. The maximum number of cases (33) were in the age group of 19 to 45, while 17 were in the 46-60 age group. Seven children aged below 18 and eight people above 60 years were also identified as Delta Plus cases.
State health officials said that immediate measures, like travel history of the person, vaccination status and focus on contact tracing and testing, were being taken. Even as Covid restrictions have been lifted, there is concern about high positivity rate in some rural pockets.
Genomic sequencing has been actively taken up by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium with a network of 28 laboratories. Every district in Maharashtra sends 100 random samples for genome sequencing as part of a collaboration with CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology with the state government.
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