Delta plus has more affinity for lung tissues: NTAGI chief

New Delhi, Jun 27: The Delta plus variant of COVID-19 has greater affinity to lung tissues as compared to other strains but it does not mean that it will cause severe disease or is more transmissible, head of coronavirus working group National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) Dr N K Arora said. A new viral variant of the coronavirus, Delta Plus, was identified on June 11. It was recently classified as a variant of concern.
Till now, 51 cases of Delta Plus have been detected across 12 states, with Maharashtra reporting the maximum cases of this variant.
Talking about Delta plus, chairman of COVID-19 Working Group of the (NTAGI) said it has been found that the variant has greater affinity to lung tissues as compared to other strains of coronavirus but clarified that it does not mean the Delta Plus variant will cause more severe disease or is more transmissible.
“Delta plus is having greater affinity to mucosal lining in the lungs, higher compared to other variants, but if it causes damage or not is not clear yet. It also does not mean that this variant will cause more severe disease or it is more transmissible,” Arora told PTI in an interview.
He said the impact of the Delta plus strain will become clear only as more cases are identified but it appears that the disease is generally mild in all those who have got either single or double dose of the vaccine.
“We need to keep a very close watch and look at its spread so that it will give us transmission efficiency,” he said.
Arora said the number of cases identified of Delta plus variant may be more as there may be many asymptomatic individuals also — those who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms but they are carrying the virus and spreading it.

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