Syllabus- General Studies 3(science and technology)
Bilateral, Regional and Global groupings and agreements involving India and affecting
Recently in India around 40 cases of the Delta coronavirus variant carrying a mutation that appears to make it more transmissible have been found, and states are advised to increase testing.
What is Delta Plus?
- The variant, called “Delta Plus” in India, was first reported in a Public Health England bulletin on June 11.
- It is a sub-lineage of the Delta variantfirst detected in India and has acquired the spike protein mutation called K417N which is also found in the Beta variant first identified in South Africa.
- Some scientists worry that the mutation, coupled with other existing features of the Delta variant, could make it more transmissible.
- “The mutation K417N has been of interest as it is present in the Beta variant (B.1.351 lineage), which was reported to have immune evasion property,” India’s health ministry said in a statement.
- The K417N was known to reduce the effectiveness of a cocktail of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.
Spread of the variant
- As of June 16, at least 197 cases had been found from 11 countries — Britain (36), Canada (1), India (8), Japan (15), Nepal (3), Poland (9), Portugal (22), Russia (1), Switzerland (18), Turkey (1), the United States (83).
- Britain said its first 5 cases were sequenced on April 26 and they were contacts of individuals who had travelled from, or transited through, Nepal and Turkey.
- No deaths were reported among the UK and Indian cases.
- Studies are ongoing in India and globally to test the effectiveness of vaccines against this mutation.
- WHO is tracking this variant as part of the Delta variant.
- WHO says that this variant does not seem to be common, and currently accounts for only a small fraction of the Delta sequences.
- But India’s health ministry warned that regions where it has been found “may need to enhance their public health response by focusing on surveillance, enhanced testing, quick contact-tracing and priority vaccination.”
There are worries Delta Plus would inflict another wave of infections on India after it emerged from the world’s worst surge in cases only recently.
Question- Write a short note on delta plus variant of Covid.