Odisha reports first case of COVID-19 Delta Plus variant

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 25 (PTI) Odisha on Friday reported its first case of COVID-19 Delta Plus variant in Deogarh district, a day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged people not to lower their guard against coronavirus.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) informed the Odisha government about the detection of the state's first case of Delta Plus variant in Deogarh district, Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Chief Professor CBK Mohanty said.

The Delta Plus variant, also described as the 'variant of concern', spreads more easily.

'We will undertake contract tracing and keep the patient isolated to prevent the infection from spreading,' Mohanty said.

Noting that the state administration will apply its time-tested COVID management formula of testing, treatment and vaccination also for Delta Plus variant, he said that both Covaxin and Covishield are quite effective also against this variant.

The DMET chief, however, said that the travel history of the patient is yet to be ascertained. 'The person must have come in contact with some other patient carrying the Delta Plus variant,' he said.

Health expert Dr Srikant Dhar echoed Professor Mohanty, saying that although the variant is considered dangerous, the existing vaccines are effective against it.

However, health experts are quite surprised that the Delta Plus variant case was detected in remote Deogarh district which has witnessed a drastic dip in fresh COVID-19 cases.

The western Odisha district reported only four fresh infections on Friday and has 106 active cases. It has registered 32 coronavirus fatalities to date, a number better than many other districts.

Odisha's lone Delta Plus variant case is among the 48 such cases detected in the country from 45,000 samples sequenced so far.

The chief minister, while addressing a virtual meeting on Thursday, had urged people not to lower their guard against coronavirus despite a dip in fresh cases in the second wave of the pandemic.

He had said that some states have already reported Delta Plus variant cases and experts fear a third wave of the pandemic.

States that have reported a high number of Delta Plus variant cases are Maharashtra (20), Tamil Nadu (nine) and Madhya Pradesh (seven). PTI AAM ACD ACD

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