Madhya Pradesh: Of 1,219 samples, six found with Delta Plus variant, 56 with Alpha, 318 with Delta

Delta Plus, a variant of Delta (B.1.617.2), has been categorised as a 'variant of concern' which resists monoclonal antibody therapy that produces artificial antibodies.

Madhya Pradesh, which has reported deaths of two patients whose samples tested positive for Delta Plus variant, has found Covid-19 variants in 380 of the 2,025 random samples it sent to the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) for genome sequencing since November 2020.

The state has so far received reports of 1,219 samples, of which 318 were found with Delta variant (B.1.617.2), which is reported to have caused a rapid spread of the virus during the second wave in India.

Madhya Pradesh has so far reported six cases of Delta Plus variant (B.1.617.2.1/(AY.1) and 56 cases of Alpha variant (B.1.1.7). This was confirmed to The Indian Express by Health Commissioner, Akash Tripathi.

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) was first reported in India, while the Alpha variant was first reported in the UK.

Delta Plus, a variant of Delta (B.1.617.2), has been categorised as a ‘variant of concern’ which resists monoclonal antibody therapy that produces artificial antibodies.

Of the six Delta Plus cases detected in MP, two each are from Bhopal and Ujjain and one each from Ashoknagar and Raisen. A woman from Ujjain and a man from Ashoknagar have succumbed to the virus after their samples tested positive for Delta Plus variant.

According to Tripathi, while the Ujjain woman’s death in May is being attributed to the Delta Plus variant, the death of the man in Ashoknagar is yet to be attributed to the variant.

The woman from Ujjain had not undergone vaccination. Her husband, who was vaccinated, was not affected by the virus.
“Patients who are vaccinated are showing resistance to the variant. Vaccination is our protection against it,” a senior health official from MP said,

This was also reiterated by Medical Education Minister, Vishwas Sarang who said, “Of the five cases of Delta Plus variants found in the state, four were vaccinated and have recovered while in home isolation. The woman from Ujjain was yet to be vaccinated.”

Health officials are carrying out rigorous contact tracing of those found positive for Delta Plus variant and ensuring they are home-isolated. A two-year-old girl, whose had also tested positive for Delta Plus variant, went missing, putting the health officials in a fix. However, a senior official said, “The family was avoiding any contact as they were unsure what it would lead to. But finally, contact was established and the girl is stable and well.”

Madhya Pradesh Thursday reported 84 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths. The state has a total of 1,495 active cases and a positivity rate of 0.1 per cent. Sarang, however, said the state will continue testing as was done during the peak of the second wave, and timely samples will be sent to NCDC for sequencing.

The state, as per GOI’s guidelines, is sending 150 samples every 15 days, which are collected from across 25 districts and nine government medical colleges from their centralised laboratories. These samples are selected randomly from the positive RT-PCR reports of patients, with an emphasis on those who have tested positive for the second time or after vaccination.

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