The Union Health Ministry on Friday said there are a total of 52 cases of Delta Plus variant of SARS-COV-2 in India as it also warned the people that the second wave of COVID-19 is not over yet. The ministry further said that at least eight states across the country have reported 50 per cent of the cases of the variant of concern and over 50,000 samples are being studied for prevalence for delta plus variant. Earlier in the day, the ministry had reported 48 cases of Delta Variant.
There’s a been a decline of 88 per cent in the coronavirus cases in the country and the recovery rate has increased to 96.7 per cent, the health ministry said. Here are the key points from today’s briefing:
Delta Plus Variant Cases: “As of today, there are 48 cases of Delta Plus variant across the country,” said Dr SK Singh, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director, at the press briefing of the ministry. The 48 cases have been very localised, said Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR.
Variants of Concern: “In last couple of months, first variant of concern was the one announced by UK where it was identified and subsequently we now have 4 of these which WHO has called Alpha, Beta, Gamma & Delta. Delta is the one that was identified in India,” said Renu Swarup, Secretary, department of Biotechnology.
States Reporting Variants: “8 states are important where we have found more than 50% of the variant of concern (Delta variant). These are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana & West Bengal,” said Dr SK Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Covishield, Covaxin Effective Against Variants: “Covidshield and Covaxin work against the variants of SARS CoV 2 — alpha, beta, gama as well as delta,” said Bhargava.
Vaccination for Pregnant Women: “The government will soon release guidelines for vaccination in pregnant women in India. Has accepted recommendations of NTAGI. Currently, only lactating women are being given Covid vaccines in India,” said Bhargava.
Vaccination for Children: On vaccination for children, Bhargava said, “We have started a small study on children b/w the age of 2-18 yrs & we shall have results of that by Sept or so. However, international jury is still not out and they’re still debating whether children need to be vaccinated. We’ve seen some complications in the US… Whether very small children will ever need vaccine, is still a question. Till such time, we’ve more data on vaccination of children, we won’t be in a position to vaccinate children at large.”
Districts Reporting High Cases: “In the week of May 4, 531 districts of the country were reporting more than 100 cases. In the week of June 2, it fell down to 262 districts. Right now, only 125 districts in the country are reporting more than 100 cases,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.
Decline in Average Daily Cases: There’s been a decline of 24 per cent in average daily coronavirus cases in India.
Vaccination Count: At least 30.79 crore vaccines have been administered in the country.
Current Status of Variants of Concern: Elaborating on the current status of the variants of concern, the health ministry said cases linked to the variants have been found distributed in 174 districts in 35 states. Variants of Concerns with public health importance detected in community samples in India: – Alpha-3,969 – Beta-149 – Gamma-1