How dangerous is COVID-19 Delta Plus strain reported in Odisha?

Bhubaneswar: Following detection of first case of ‘most transmissible’ Delta Plus strain of COVID-19  causing panic among residents in Odisha, experts say there is no cause for concern for now in the State.

The Delta Plus variant is said to be the highly transmissible mutant of COVID-19 first identified in India in second wave.

Though there is no indication yet of severity due to the new variant, the possible severity caused by the strain could not be ruled out, informed a top official of the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS).

Recently, the autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology had conducted genome sequencing of samples from Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar at its laboratory in Bhubaneswar. Of 3000-3500 samples sequenced here, only one mutation has been found in Deogarh district of Odisha.

“If the Delta Plus strain were so dangerous, many cases of the particular variant could have been detected subsequently since April this year. As, not a single case of the variant was found in last two months, it suggested that it has not spread rapidly in Odisha,” said ILS Director Ajay Parida.

However, the rate of transmission of the Delta plus variant will be clear in coming days, he said.

He advised not to panic following detection of the new COVID variant in Odisha.

“If the current positivity rate will be taken into account, there is no need for immediate concern for the variant and people need not to panic. As the COVID variants are transmitting from person to person, we need to follow the COVID protocol strictly to contain spread,” Parida said.

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