TN Studies First Delta Plus Variant of Covid-19, a Nurse from Chennai

Tamil Nadu has reported its first case of Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 from here, with a city-based nurse getting infected with it, a top government official said on Wednesday. The state health department had sent 1,159 samples in May to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia), a consortium of 28 labs tasked with genome sequencing of the virus causing Covid and reports of 772 samples were made available on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said.

“Of the 772 samples, one has been reported as Delta Plus variant from Chennai. It pertained to a 32-year-old lady employed as a staff nurse at a hospital,” he told PTI. The senior IAS official, who has been handling the pandemic crisis, said there was no need for alarm.

“We have seen the British variant and double mutant variant. There is no need to panic as of now,” Radhakrishnan said and emphasised upon the need to adhere to Covid-19 prevention measures like wearing face mask, avoiding crowds and getting vaccinated. The Delta Plus variant’s properties, which are being investigated, is characterised by a mutation in the spike protein, which helps the virus gain entry into human cells.

Neighbouring Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have identified similar cases. On Tuesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said the Delta variant is found in 80 countries around the world, including India, and it is a variant of concern.


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