Updated: August 17, 2021 1:26:34 am
Ten more cases of Delta plus variant of SARS-CoV2 virus were identified across Maharashtra on Monday, taking the total count in the state to 76. Of the 10 new cases, six were identified in Kolhapur, three in Ratnagiri and one in Sindhudurg. The state has so far reported five deaths due to the variant.
Of the 76 persons detected with Delta Plus, 10 were fully vaccinated while 12 had received a single shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Two persons had got Covaxin doses while the remaining had got the Covishield vaccine shot. While 39 patients are women, nine are children below the age of 18 years.
A total of 39 persons infected with Delta Plus variant are between 19 and 45 years of age, while 19 persons are in the 46-60 age group. As many as nine persons are above 60 years of age. “At least 37 persons had mild symptoms,” Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, told The Indian Express.
To track the variant, Maharashtra has intensified genomic surveillance and as many as 10,000 samples have been tested by the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology. “No state has proactively sent so many samples for genomic surveillance and findings do not indicate an alarming situation,” Dr Awate said.
Pune and Thane have reported six cases each of the Delta Plus variant. Jalgaon has 13 cases, Ratnagiri 15, Mumbai 11, Palghar and Raigad three each, Gondia, Nanded and Sindhudurg two each, and Chandrapur, Akola, Sangli, Nandurbar, Aurangabad and Beed one each. “Rapid response teams have been set up at the division level and medical history apart from travel details have been taken of the patients concerned,” Dr Awate said.
Also known as B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1, the Delta Plus variant contains a mutation in the spike protein the virus uses to enter human cells called K417 N. The Union health ministry, in a statement released earlier, had expressed reasons for concern about Delta Plus – related to increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells (suggesting easier entry into human cells) and if people’s immune systems may be less effective against this variant. Districts have been directed to conduct an intensified contact tracing of the index cases, state officials said.
Maharashtra crosses 5-crore vaccination milestone
Till 6 pm on Monday, Maharashtra had administered 6.08 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine to its residents, raising the overall vaccine figure to 5 crore. Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express that the authorities hope to administer the vaccine to many more people in days to come. On August 14, the state was successful in administering 10 lakh doses in a single day, surpassing its previous best of 8.11 lakh doses on July 3. As on Monday, the districts had 26 lakh doses of vaccines, of which 20.6 lakh were of Covishield and 5.4 lakh were of Covaxin, said Dr Vyas.
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