This Tuesday, the Indian Ministry of Health alerted to the SARS-CoV-2 “Delta Plus” virus variant – which has already been detected in Portugal and is a mutation of the delta variant – noting that it is “stronger and transmissible”.
So far, 22 cases have been detected in three Indian states. However, the vast majority (16) is concentrated in Maharashtra.
According to a statement from the Indian government, citing the Hindustan Times, the new variant is characterized by “increased transmissibility” and “possible decrease in antibody response”.
It advised heads of state to “take immediate measures of confinement in order to avoid overcrowding” and “encourage extensive testing” as well as “accelerate the vaccination process”.
Note that the delta variant has already been detected in more than 90 countries. Data from Dr. Ricardo Jorge’s National Institute of Health (INSA) indicates that 60% of new cases of COVID-19 in the Lisbon and Valle do Tejo region are associated with this strain that originated in India. The INSA also said on Sunday that genetic data now obtained indicates that “only 2.5% of cases associated with the delta variant still have the K417N mutation”, called Delta Plus and that at the beginning of the month it was one of the rationales used by England to remove Portugal from Green Tourist Travel List. When England announced the decision, international databases collecting sequence data showed that 90 Delta Plus cases had been arranged so far worldwide, 36 in England and 12 in Portugal.