The internet gives access to a vast trove of information. Amid the growing influence of electronic media, it has become equally challenging to combat fake news. The novel coronavirus has opened up a plethora of misleading claims on social media and other online platforms, concerning the disease, its supposed cures, and conspiracy theories about the pandemic. In the latest, claims related to Vizag reporting a Delta Plus variant case have been doing rounds on social media since Tuesday night. Visakhapatnam District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO), Dr. Suryanarayana, in an exclusive interaction with Yo! Vizag, confirmed it to be fake news.
Reportedly, a 51-year-old woman from Vambay Colony in Madhurawada tested positive for Covid-19 in May 2021 at the local Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC). To further investigate her case, the doctors extracted her samples and forwarded them to Hyderabad suspecting the symptoms. On Wednesday, the test results were handed over to the Visakhapatnam District Medical and Health Office.
Speaking to Yo! Vizag, the Visakhapatnam DM&HO said, “This is a delta plus case, not to be confused with the deadly Delta Plus variant case. The former is a different variant and is commonly seen during the second wave of the pandemic.” He shared that one percent of the total covid samples go to the Indian Council of Medical Research every week for detailed analysis. Dr. Suryanarayana added that the apex institute would send back a detailed report if the Delta variant was found in any Covid positive case. “One such Delta variant case was detected in a woman who got tested positive in Vizag a month ago. So far, Vizag hasn’t recorded Delta Plus variant case,” the Visakhapatnam DM&HO further said.
It may be recalled that the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) was the major Covid-19 strain behind the devastating second wave in India. It has since mutated into the variants AY.1 and AY.2. Delta Plus is a mutant form of the Delta variant. Delta Plus, also tagged as a “Variant of Concern ” by the government, is seen in India. The first case of variant concern in Andhra Pradesh was reported in Tirupati. Cases of the new strain, a mutation of the Delta strain or B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India, has been a worry for many. So far these cases are reported in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, and Jammu. According to the medical experts, Delta Plus shows increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, and potentially reduced monoclonal antibody response.