‘Delta Plus’ variant of Covid not yet a concern: Govt

at 6:21 pm
NITI Aayog member V K Paul (File Pic)

New Delhi: The new ‘Delta Plus’ variant of Covid, identified by global data system, is not yet a variant of concern, the government of India said today but added that it will be studied.

The variant has been around since March, NITI Aayog member V K Paul said at a media briefing here.

“New ‘Delta Plus’ variant of SARS-CoV-2 identified by global data system; It is not yet a variant of concern,” he said.

“This is a variant of interest but not yet one of concern. We have to assess its presence through INSACOG,” Paul said.

“As per data available in public domain, this variant nullifies the use of monoclonal antibody. We will study & learn more about this variant,” he added.

Paul said the virus transmission is “very low right now” but added, “We are dealing with a highly transmissible variant this year than we were in 2020, hence we need to exercise greater caution and strictly abide by COVID appropriate behaviour.”

Regarding the impact of Covid on children, Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry, said, “there is no need to panic about children getting infected in successive waves. There is need to spread awareness among children and every family in the society.”

He said 3.28% of children in the age group of 1-10 years contracted Covid infection during the first wave, while the figure during the second wave was 3.05%.

Aggarwal added that 8.03% in the age group of 11-20 years got infected during the first wave and 8.5% in the second wave.

Regarding the overall coronavirus cases, he said there has been a continuous decrease since India reported a peak on May 7.

There has been almost 85% decline in cases since the highest peak reported in daily new cases, the official said.

“There has been a consistent decline in average daily new cases since the week of 5-11 May,” he said, adding a consistent increase in recovery rate has also been observed from 81.8% on May 3 to 95.6% as on date.