Kerala detects its first cases of Delta-plus variant

Kerala on Monday reported its first cases of the ‘Delta-plus’ variant of Covid-19, which the World Health Organization has categorised as a ‘Variant of Concern’. While one case was detected in Pathanamthitta district, two cases were reported in Palakkad district.

Pathanamthitta district collector Dr Narasimhugari T L Reddy said a four-year-old boy from Kadapra panchayat in the district was found infected with the new Delta-plus variant. The new variant was discovered in a genetic study of the boy’s samples conducted at CSIR-IGIB (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi). The authorities have taken stringent measures in the affected areas of two districts to prevent its spread, officials said. The ward where the boy stays is designated as a ‘large community cluster area’, where the test positivity rate is 18.42 per cent, much higher than the state average of less than 10 per cent on Monday. Last week, member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr VK Paul had reminded the public that the newly detected Delta Plus Variant is not yet classified as a Variant of Concern.

Delta-plus is a mutated form of the ‘Delta’ variant that is mainly responsible for fuelling the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.