TIRUPATI: With the first case of the Delta plus variant of Coronavirus found in Tirupati, the public health experts are stressing on the need to increase surveillance and testing as there are risks of increased transmission of variants.
Delta plus is a variation of the Delta strain B.1.167.2 of SARS-CoV-2, the Coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Delta strain is the variant which is largely responsible for the second wave of pandemic in the country during the past few months. As the second wave is apparently on the decline, the emergence of Delta Plus, whose characteristics are yet to be understood, is posing a new challenge.
While the Delta Plus strain is classified as a variant of concern, at least 40-odd cases have been identified in the country till now. Among them, the first case in Andhra Pradesh was detected in Tirupati, according to health minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas. He informed that the patient was treated and recovered, without the infection being transmitted to others.
Chittoor DM&HO Dr U. Srihari told this newspaper that the person from Tirumala Nagar in Tirupati, approached the Mangalam PHC on April 4 with Covid-19 symptoms and his sample, which was taken for testing on the same day, came out positive on April 5. Covid treatment was given to him at the Covid care hospital attached to SVIMS and he was recovered and discharged on April 13.
“His sample was sent to CCMB, Hyderabad on the same day. The result, which came out on June 23, was confirmed as Delta Plus. Upon receiving information, the person and his family members were consulted and it was found that everyone was healthy and there were no health issues for them. We also conducted a house-to-house fever survey in that area and found that everyone there was doing good,” the DM&HO said.
The DM&HO further said the district health machinery was put on alert about the threat posed by the new variant of Covid. He confirmed that currently there were no positive cases of Delta plus variants in the district and people need not worry about the new variants. He urged people to be brave, recognising that the Delta Plus variant had no impact in this area.