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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • The prevalence of the virus seems very low at around 0.08 per cent (50 of 45000 samples).
  • Though it seems too early to say so, the variant has taken 4 lives when only around 50 have been detected with the new variant of concern. The case fatality rate now is high at around 8 per cent.
  •  In the small number of 50 cases detected so far in the country, the recovery rate is estimated at over 92 per cent.
  • Israel, which has vaccinated a high of 57 per cent of the population, is witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases (200/day) triggered by the Delta variant - the villain of piece of Second wave in India

When the country is in a mood to reboot the economic activities after the marauder run of the second wave, it seems the scare of Delta Plus has made the state governments all over to push for the pause button.

As of date, the country has detected around 50 cases of the Delta Plus variant. The new variant of concern has been identified in as many as 10 states - from Jammu to Tamil Nadu and Gujarat to Odisha. The prevalence of the virus seems very low at around 0.08 per cent (50 of 45000 samples). However, only a glance at other parameters may shed some hints on its lethality.

Epidemiological Map Of Delta+ 

Though it seems too early to say so, the variant has taken 4 lives when only around 50 have been detected with the new variant of concern. The case fatality rate now is high at around 8 per cent. But there are other encouraging determinants.

•    Nearly 13 of 50 are asymptomatic. This shows over 26 per cent have the antibody to suppress the virus.

•    As many as 15 others have shown only mild symptoms. This brings to fore the fact that around 30 per cent show only mild symptoms, despite carrying this lethal mutant. This again highlights the role of antibody battling with the virus well.

•    Overall, 60 per cent delta plus infected patients are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. The number looks very assuring as of now.

•    Reports say, even, in Jalgaon (Maharashtra), the infected patients are unvaccinated, still remained asymptomatic.

•    In the small number of 50 cases detected so far in the country, the recovery rate is estimated at over 92 per cent.

The Odisha Case Study

As per the patient's statement, who is 62 -year old, he is symptomatic but had only mild symptoms. Significantly, the symptoms (body ache and Flu-like signs) are same as the Delta variant (ancestor of Delta plus). No severity observed in his case. 

" I have body ache and flu like symptoms. For which, I took normal medicines. On April 23, my son took me to a nearby hospital where I submitted my sample for Covid-19 test.  Later, the test report showed me as Covid positive." 

The patient history shows Rajhansa took first dose of vaccine on March 30 and the second on April 23. Going by the patient's statement, he submitted his sample for Covid-19 test on April 23.

The significant interpretation here is Rajahansa has contracted the virus in between first and second dose. As per his statement, symptoms have started manifesting before taking the second dose.

Moreover, as per the patient, it took him nearly 25-days to recover. Normally, in Delta variant infections, the recovery period has been around 14-days or at most 21 days. The recovery period of patient Rajhansa didn't show any major deviation. 

The Bottom line: Contrary to scientific evidence that mutations in Delta plus carries the potential to evade even the neutralising antibodies, an analysis of the limited data shows that antibodies work well against the new variant of concern - both in vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

•    Moreover, scientifically proven of having high transmissibility, the spread in cases till date has not been extraordinary.

•    In Odisha case, the patient seems to have contracted the variant after first dose.

Lesson from Israel: International media reports suggest that Israel, which has vaccinated a high of 57 per cent of the population, is witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases (200/day) triggered by the Delta variant - the villain of piece of Second wave in India. 

Post a spike, Israel advises its citizen to wear mask even in indoor. "The cases are rising. But serious patients number are low. Therefore, the health ministry of Israel called on Israelis to wear face coverings when taking place in mass gatherings outdoors," as per report in Times of Israel.

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