T.N. told to take immediate steps to contain Delta Plus variant

In the light of nine samples from Madurai, Kancheepuram and Chennai returning positive for Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2, the Union Health Ministry has written to Tamil Nadu to take up immediate containment measures such as preventing crowds and intermingling of people, conducting widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccine coverage on a priority basis in these districts.

Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, in a letter to V. Irai Anbu, Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, said that INSACOG — a consortium of laboratories for whole genome sequencing — has informed that Delta Plus, which is currently a variant of concern, has the characteristics of increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response. Public health response has to become more focussed and stringent, he said, requesting the State to ensure that adequate samples of COVID-19 positive persons are promptly sent to the designated laboratories of INSACOG so that the clinical epidemiological correlations can be established.

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