India on Saturday reported 51 new cases of Delta Plus variant across 12 states, including Maharashra (22), Tamil Nadu (9), Madhya Pradesh (7), Kerala (3), Punjab (2), Gujarat (2), Andhra Pradesh (1), Odisha (1), Rajasthan (1), J&K (1), Haryana (1) and Karnataka (1). Maharashtra is one of the worst affected states with the highest case tally at 22, including 1 death.

Looking at the scare of Delta Plus variant, the state has implemented its five-level unlock plan and imposed ‘Level 3’ restrictions in all districts, irrespective of city’s positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy level. Under Level 3 restrictions, all essential shops and establishments will open on all days but only until 4 pm. The opening of non essential shops and establishments has been restricted to only weekdays until 4 pm. Restaurants, gyms, beauty centres, spas, wellness centres are allowed to open with 50% capacity till 4 pm. Film and television shoots, gatherings such as funerals and weddings are allowed till 4 pm on weekdays with 50% capacity. Meanwhile, malls, theatres and multiplexes will remain closed. 

Speaking about the science behind the Delta Plus variant, it has been identified as ‘Virulent type’ and is formed due to mutation in the Delta variant. Delta Plus variant is resistant to monoclonal antibodies cocktail and mutation is in the spike protein of SARS-COV-2.

Delta Plus Variant is present in 6 genomes from India as of June 7th. With its stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibodies, the Delta plus variant has put all states on high alert, especially amid warnings of a third wave.