A new variant of coronavirus has been detected in Southern and Central parts of India. The variant has been named Delta Plus. This new strain may have evolved from the Delta variant which too, was first identified in India. The government of India has issued a warning for the states in reach of the variant.

The Delta Plus strain has also been spotted in 8 other countries (excluding India): China, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, UK and US. On the other hand, its suspected parent virus Delta has already reached more than 80 countries.

The properties of the variant are still being researched upon and very little information has been uncovered by scientists. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG), comprising of 28 laboratories, is leading the research in India. INSACOG stated that preliminary research shows the variant to be more infectious.

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As of writing, around 40 cases have been reported throughout India. These cases possess full capability to inflate in numbers and can reach disastrous levels. India is still reeling from the second wave which stretched its health resources to their breaking point and a third wave is also expected. Although, preparations are being made to face the third wave, the Delta Plus strain could make it near-impossible to resist without a high mortality rate, if it turns out to be the most infectious and/or lethal of the variants yet known.

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