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26 Delta Plus cases found among over 8,000 samples sent for genome sequencing in Maharashtra

Delta plus variant in Maharashtra: State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate, however, told The Indian Express Friday morning that there was no reason for alarm.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: August 6, 2021 5:21:08 pm
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With two fresh cases of the Delta Plus variant being detected at Nira village in Purandar tehsil of Pune recently, the total number of such cases in Maharashtra has risen to 26. Purandar tehsil has been in the news after intensified surveillance in the region helped to detect the first case of Zika virus infection in the state last week.

State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate, however, told The Indian Express Friday morning that there was no reason for alarm. “We send random samples for genome sequencing as part of our ongoing tie-ups with the National Institute of Virology, National Centre for Cell Science and CSIR-IGIB. Till date, more than 8,000 samples have been sent for genome sequencing and we have identified at least 26 with Delta Plus variant. However, all the persons with the Delta Plus variant are stable,” Dr Awate added.

He said that the two new cases, which were detected much ahead of the Zika virus case, include that of a 14-year-old boy and a 28-year-old woman. Both individuals were unvaccinated and experienced mild symptoms. Of the remaining cases, nine are from Ratnagiri, seven from Jalgaon and the others spread out across Thane, Mumbai and Palghar.

Dr Awate said that though the Delta variant of coronavirus is currently dominant, there is no unusual spike in Delta Plus cases. “We are randomly sending samples for detecting breakthrough infections and identifying if there are any mutations,” he said.

Experts with CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology told The Indian Express that there will be some mutation occasionally, adding that they had a tie up with Pune’s BJ Medical College, the central coordinating lab for genome sequencing in the state. “We are getting samples from all districts of Maharashtra and it is being closely tracked,” an expert said.

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