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Understanding the Delta Plus Variant of COVID-19

Health experts are raising concerns about the new Delta Plus variant of Covid-19. Here is what we know about this variant so far.

  • 19 Nov 2021
  • min read

The COVID-19 pandemic struck in December 2019 and since then, have wreaked havoc in the entire world. Till date, approximately 19 crore cases of Covid-19 have been reported across the globe, resulting in more than 40 lakh casualties. The spread of this disease reached its pinnacle by mid-2020 but slowed down a bit in 2021.

However, just when the world thought that the end of the pandemic is near, a new covid variant named “Delta Plus” was spotted by the experts. This strain of coronavirus, which has been found in more than ten countries so far, is seen as a cause of concern among the health experts as it is believed to mutate rapidly and can transmit much more easily. Buying health insurance would be the great option in this pandemic to save your savings.

Also, the doctors believe that the new covid delta variant can cause more severe symptoms in the infected patients, as compared to other strains. Continue reading to know all the information that is there in the public domain about this covid variant so far.

What is the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19?

The new Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 has been formed due to a mutation in the delta variant of the coronavirus, which is also known as the B.1.617.2 variant. As per the experts, the cause of this mutation is the delta variant acquiring the spike protein mutation K417N to form a new variant which is scientifically called AY.1 variant.

According to the doctors, the new covid variant has almost 40-60% increased ability to transmit and can cause more serious symptoms in the infected patients. Also, the positivity rate as well as death rate can go up due to this variant.

Where was this variant first found?

The first case of the covid delta plus variant was found in Europe in March 2021. Since then, health experts around the globe along with the World Health Organization (WHO) have been keeping a close watch on the impact and transmissibility of this covid-19 variant.

England was one of the first countries where the delta plus variant began to spread. Till date, this variant of the coronavirus has been found in more than 10 countries, including India and Nepal. As per the Union Health Ministry of India, around 300 cases* of Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 has been detected in our country so far.

Apart from India, the cases of delta plus variant has also been found in the United States of America (USA), UK, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Russia, China, Nepal, and Poland.

What risks does this variant pose?

As we have already mentioned, the new Covid variant possesses 40 to 60% increased ability to transmit*. As per the WHO, “the delta plus and other circulating variants of the coronavirus pose a high risk to public health, as they have demonstrated an increased transmissibility”.

Furthermore, the Government of India as well as health officials have declared this variant of coronavirus as a “variant of concern”. Also, this variant is believed to reduce the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody treatment technique, where an antibody cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab is used to treat the patients infected with the coronavirus.

As per the SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), the delta plus variant of Covid-19 is a cause of concern due to the following reasons:

  • Increased transmissibility
  • Strong binding impact on receptors of lung cells
  • Potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response

Also read:

How effective are the vaccines against the delta plus variant?

Although it’s too early to come to a conclusion, the Health Ministry of India has said in its official statement that both the Indian vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield are effective against the delta plus variant. However, we could not find any data on their efficacy rates and the proportion of antibody titters these vaccines can produce to tackle this variant.

Also, the Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca and Pfizer-Biotech alliance were found to be broadly effective against the delta variant of the coronavirus. But, their effectiveness against the delta plus variant is yet to be known.

The situation in India

After the devastating second wave of covid-19, India is observing a consistent dip in the number of fresh cases since mid-June 2021. However, the experts believe that due to the new delta plus variant, the third wave in a few states of India may come earlier than expected.

The states which have observed maximum number of cases of the new covid variant are Kerala and Maharashtra. These states have already begun their preparations to tackle the third wave of the coronavirus. The Government of India is also emphasizing on vaccinating the maximum population before the third wave sets in.

The final word

All said and done, there is very little evidence of how virulent the new delta plus variant of the coronavirus can be. Hence, it’s better to be prepared and keep following all covid-safety protocols such as social distancing and using hand sanitizers. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Also, it’s prudent to procure a health insurance policy with covid coverage to secure yourself financially against the possibility of hospitalization due to this deadly disease. To know about the ICICI Lombard’s Corona Protection Plans.

ICICI Lombard also provides health insurance plans like Family Health Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, Health Booster, Saral Suraksha Bima, Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, which offers the much needed financial backup during any medical emergencies including Covid-19.

  • Covid Variant
  • Informational
  • Health Insurance
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