The number of cases involving the Delta-plus Covid-19 variant in India has risen to about 40, officials said Wednesday.
The Delta-plus strain, initially tagged as a variant of interest, was later declared a variant of concern by the government, according to Xinhua.
On Tuesday the number of Delta-plus variant cases in India hit 22 with infections found in the Ratnagiri and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala, and Bhopal and Shivpuri districts of Madhya Pradesh.
“As of now among the samples sequenced (over 45,000) in India, this variant has been observed sporadically in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, with around 40 cases identified so far and no significant increase in prevalence,” said a statement issued by the government.
On Tuesday the federal government sent a warning to Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh on Delta-plus cases found there. The states were urged to take immediate measures including preventing crowds and gatherings, as well as initiating widespread testing, prompt tracing and vaccination on priority.
Reports of Delta-plus cases come as India records a lower number of daily cases and local governments in Indian states are lifting Covid-19 restrictions.
The Delta-plus variant is a mutant version of the Delta strain first detected in India. It is considered highly infectious and fast-spreading.
Experts in Maharashtra fear the new variant could trigger a third wave of outbreak, reports say.