Delta Plus Variant Unlikely to Be More Transmissible Than Delta: Govt Panel

A new Delta sub-lineage, AY.3, has also been identified, the report related.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Delta Plus variant of coronavirus. Representative photo.</p></div>

Government-instituted Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) has indicated that the Delta Plus COVID-19 variant is unlikely to be more transmissible than its parent, Delta.

The panel of experts, jointly established by the Health Ministry, ICMR, CSIR and DBT, indicated in its weekly report that the sub-lineages of the Delta variant, AY.1 (Delta Plus) and AY.2, are not likely to possess greater transmissibility than Delta, which has been classified as a variant of concern (VOC).

"It is likely that neither AY.1 nor AY.2 is more transmissible than Delta," INSACOG said, noting that "There are no indications of rising trend in the four clusters (in Ratnagiri and Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Bhopal in MP and Chennai in TN)."

Commenting on the prevalence of the sub-lineages, the report indicated, "Delta sub-lineages AY.1 and AY.2 are declining globally with near zero cases in the last week of June in either UK or US, where they were most frequently seen. They also continue to be below 1% in available sequences from June in India."

New Sub-Lineage of Delta Variant Identified

A new Delta sub-lineage, AY.3, has also been identified, the report related.

"It is primarily seen in the US with single reclassified cases in UK and India. There are no known significant properties of this mutation, but since it is a Delta VOC sub-lineage, INSACOG will continue to monitor it."
INSACOG report

Continuing outbreaks across India are attributable to Delta, susceptible population, and opportunities for transmission, the weekly report suggested, adding that public health measures to reduce transmission and vaccination remain critical.

'Vaccines Effective Against Severe Disease by Delta Variant': INSACOG

The government panel report observed that the data obtained from recent studies has shown that vaccination is protective against severe disease by the Delta variant.

Quoting a Public Health England research, the INSACOG report noted that Astrazeneca's Covishield vaccine is estimated to provide a 94 percent protection against death from COVID-19 in persons aged 65 and over.

Recently released vaccine efficacy report for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin also show high efficacy against severe disease, but reduced efficacy against infection, the panel stated.

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