By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 26 Jun: While so far there is no confirmed case of Covid-19’s Delta plus variant infection in Uttarakhand, there is no doubt that the state needs to be very cautious about it, particularly in view of the fact that in some states, a significant number of confirmed Delta plus variant cases have been detected. Some 30 samples collected from Covid patients in Udham Singh Nagar district have been sent to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi for testing of Delta Plus variant and to find out whether any of them is having Delta Plus infection based on the peculiar symptoms seen in the patients.
Concerned about it, particularly in view of a possible third wave of Corona in the country, the Union Government has written letters to 11 states, warning them to be careful about the risks posed by this variant of the Covid-19 virus! It is being stated by many that Delta Plus variant is more infectious and dangerous and there is a possibility of the vaccines also not been effective to prevent Delta Plus infection. It may be recalled that the second wave of the Corona virus Covid-19 saw a very sharp surge in the country particularly in view of the Delta Variant which resulted in much larger number of deaths as compared to the cases caused by original Novel Corona virus that had struck the country during the first wave of the pandemic last year. With more than 50 confirmed cases of Delta Plus variant already in India, there is a potential for its surge if the country does not remain strictly vigilant about it. It may be further recalled that already there are a significant number of Delta Plus cases in UK and some other European countries. The cause of concern is that the Novel Corona virus (Covid-19) has been mutating frequently and already Alpha, Gama and Delta variants have been detected which were mutations of original Novel Corona virus. Delta Plus is being considered as the latest variant and stated to be far more infectious. The efficacy of the Covid vaccines on this variant is also not proven yet and there are apprehensions whether the vaccines are really effective against this strain of the virus! With the therapeutic regime to treat Covid infection also changing frequently and some of the drugs like Ivermectin, Remdesivir already banned at primary stage, so far there is not much known in respect of treatment of Delta Plus variant and the doctors are also not sure which drugs could be effective in treatment of Delta Plus variant!
According to the Uttarakhand Health Department, the Delta Plus variant will be confirmed only after the sample report is received by the department and the samples have been sent for testing as a precautionary measure. It may be recalled that B.17.4 which is now known as Delta virus was confirmed in the district and the state in a large number of cases during the second wave of corona infection. Whether the Delta Plus variant has made its entry into Uttarakhand remains to be seen so far. Out of 50 plus cases in India, more than 40 confirmed cases of the new variant are related to Maharashtra alone. The state can keep its vigil high by testing everyone arriving from other states at the Airport or Railway Stations and sending the samples to laboratories for Delta Plus testing. It would be pragmatic to equip some local laboratories with the Delta Plus testing facility. In case of any detection of the Delta Plus, contact tracing and isolation would have to be done very strictly.