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Health Ministry advises Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh on Delta Plus variant

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The Union Health Secretary has communicated to these three states that this variant has been found in genome-sequenced samples from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra; Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala; and Bhopal and Shivpuri districts of Madhya Pradesh

Based on the recent findings of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG), the Union Health Ministry has alerted and advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh regarding the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 being found in some districts in these states.

The Union Health Secretary has communicated to these three states that this variant has been found in genome-sequenced samples from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra; Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala; and Bhopal and Shivpuri districts of Madhya Pradesh.

According to INSACOG, Delta Plus Variant has increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, and it can also cause a potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

The health ministry has advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh that the public health response measures, while broadly remaining the same, as have been implemented by them earlier, have to become more focussed and effective. The states’ chief secretaries have been advised to take up immediate containment measures in the districts and clusters (as identified by INSACOG), including preventing crowds and intermingling of people, widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccine coverage on a priority basis.

They were also advised to ensure that adequate samples of positive persons are promptly sent to the designated laboratories of INSACOG so that clinical epidemiological correlations can be made for further guidance to be provided to states.

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