Delta+ Unlikely To Be More Transmissible, Says Study
The AY.1 and AY.2 sub-lineages of the Delta variant are unlikely to be more transmissible than their highly communicable parent, the Indian SARS-Cov2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) said in its latest bulletin. The detection of 21 cases of the AY.1 sub-lineage, called ‘Delta-Plus’, in June had stoked fears of increased transmission or even an early onset of the third wave in Maharashtra.

A month since the detections though, districts where the Delta-Plus cases were found have not seen any unusual surge in cases or deaths in those pockets. In fact, of all the samples sequenced from the state in June, up to 88% were found positive for the Delta variant and not many for Delta- Plus.

The Delta-Plus and AY.2 sub-lineages continue to account for less than 1% of genomic sequences carried out from June, said Insacog. Delta (B 1617.2), which was first isolated in Vidarbha and has driven the second wave, continues to be the dominant lineage in the country and one that is also rapidly rising globally.

The Insacog update said the Delta sub-lineages AY.1 and AY.2 were declining globally with near zero cases in the last week of June in both the UK and US. “There are no indications of rising trend in the four clusters (in Ratnagiri and Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Bhopal in MP and Chennai in TN),” the update added.

Districts corroborated that they have not been flooded with cases or cluster infections as they had feared. Of the 21 cases of Delta-Plus in Maharashtra, Ratnagiri reported the highest (9), followed by Jalgaon (7), Mumbai (2), and one each in Palghar, Sindhudurg and Thane. An 80-year-old woman who was infected with the Delta-Plus strain, succumbed.

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