Covid 19: How much severe is delta plus variant

After the second wave of Covid 19, states and Centre are now preparing for a third wave. However, experts believe that if any third wave is coming, it will be less intensive than the second one.

“Third wave of COVID won’t be as severe as second wave. More vaccination and COVID appropriate behaviour could play an important role in mitigating these waves. Study on vaccine effect on Delta plus variant of COVID is underway,” Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology, ICMR.

Dr. Panda also clarifies that with the finding of 49 cases of Delta plus variant, if we are calling it to be the beginning of the third wave, that is misleading. “So far, only 49 cases of Delta plus variant have been reported from 10 states. This doesn’t indicate that the third wave of COVID has begun. Calling it the onset of third wave would be misleading,” Dr Samiran Panda said in another tweet.

So what are this Delta and Delta plus variant? Why people across the globe are concerned over these.

“A mutant variant of SARS-Cov-2, B.1.617.2, is now named as the Delta variant. It has mutations in its spike protein, which makes it more transmissible and able to evade immunity. It has already spread to 80 countries across the world. After India, now it is spreading fast in the U.K., some States in the U.S., Singapore and Southern China,” said Anurag Agrawal, Director, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR), Delhi, in an exclusive interview to The Hindu.

“When the Delta variant develops additional mutations of possible importance, it is called Delta plus. As of now, the K417N mutation, which was previously seen in the Beta variant, is what people usually mean when they say Delta plus. This is not a Delta/Beta hybrid, but a case of convergent evolution where mutations develop independently,” Dr Agrawal said in the same interview.

So are we going to see a third wave of Corona soon?  Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology, ICMR says that the third wave of COVID won’t be as severe as second wave because more vaccination and COVID appropriate behaviour could play an important role in mitigating these waves.

So do scientists need to invent different vaccines for different mutants, strains, and variants of Covid 19 virus? Experts say there is no need to redesign the vaccine for every mutation since all available vaccines are protecting against severe disease. They think that mutations in a virus are inevitable.

However, experts stress more on precautions and follow Covid-Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) which is effective against all mutations.

Also read: Delta Plus Variant in Odisha: Dont be panic, but need to take precaution says ILS Director
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