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 NTAGI Dr N K Arora said.
But he asserted that as variants are linked to new waves, the possibility can not be dismissed at all.
A new viral variant of the coronavirus, Delta Plus, was identified on June 11. It was recently classified as a variant of concern.
“Waves are linked to new variants or new mutations so there is a possibility as this is a new variant, but whether it will lead to a third wave it is difficult to answer as it will depend upon two or three things,” Dr Arora was quoted as saying by PTI.
Dr Arora listed three other factors that will decide the severity of the new wave of the pandemic if it comes.
First, the third wave will depend on what proportion of the population got infected in the second wave.
Second, if the vaccination drive goes on with this speed, then a huge number of people will become immune by the time the third wave comes. “…the rapidity with which we vaccinate…even single dose is effective and the way we are planning, if we rapidly immunise then the possibility of a third wave becomes very less,” Dr Arora said.
Third, strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, including wearing of the masks, maintaining physical distance, will protect from any variant, a point that experts have been emphasising.
While Delta, the variant first reported in India, is highly transmissible, the same can not be said about Delta Plus as the variant has been present in India for the last two months.