Centre cautions states amid rising delta variant cases, suggests strict containment measures
New Delhi : As the cases of new Delta variants have been detected in multiple cities, the Centre has cautioned states to intensify the strict containment measures including preventing crowds, conducting widespread testing as well as increasing vaccine coverage on a priority basis in districts where the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus has been detected.
In a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan suggested these measures specifically to eight states and Union Territories where these cases have been detected. Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Haryana are among them.
The Central government also urged the states to ensure that adequate samples of people who test positive for COVID-19 are promptly sent to the designated laboratories of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) so that clinical epidemiological correlations can be established.
The Health Ministry also added that the Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh, Surat in Gujarat, Faridabad in Haryana, Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Bikaner in Rajasthan, Patiala and Ludhiana in Punjab, Mysuru in Karnataka, Chennai, Madurai and Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
“You are aware that INSACOG is a consortium of laboratories for whole genome sequencing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. INSACOG is tasked with not just the whole genome sequencing but also giving timely inputs on appropriate public health response in specific geographies where variants have been found,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
“It has been intimated by INSACOG that the Delta Plus variant, which is currently a variant of concern (VOC), has the following characteristics — increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response,” he added.