Delta plus variant could trigger the third wave of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, active cases could exceed 8 lakh: Ministry of Health

The new Delta plus variant of Covid-19 has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant.

Maharashtra’s health department has warned that the Delta plus variant of the new coronavirus could cause the third wave of infections in the state. In a meeting attended by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state health department officials said active COVID-19 patients could reach up to eight lakh, while 10% of between them could be children.

The June 16 meeting to take stock of preparations to deal with a possible third wave of COVID-19 brought together state health minister Rajesh Tope and members of the state task force on COVID-19.

Thackeray has called on agencies to work in tandem to ensure beds, liquid medical oxygen, drugs, equipment and adequate stock, especially in rural areas, are available statewide, the said. Chief Minister’s Office on Twitter.

“While vaccination plays an important role in this battle against COVID-19, it should also be remembered that social distancing standards must be maintained,” Thackeray said at the meeting, according to an Indian Express report.

He further said RT-PCR testing should be increased and PPE kits and other materials should also be purchased.

The health department said there have been 19 lakh cases in the first wave (post-March 2020 outbreak), while in the second wave (which started around mid-February 2021) so far , more than 40 lakh infections had been recorded in Maharashtra.

Earlier this week, the Union Health Ministry said the highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 had mutated again to form the Delta plus ‘or AY.1’ variant, but there is no no immediate cause for concern in India as its incidence in the country is still low.

The new Delta plus variant was formed due to a mutation in the Delta variant of B.1.617.2, first identified in India and one of the driving forces behind the deadly second wave, he said.

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