New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the Delta Plus variant is still not a 'variant of concern' in India as only 22 cases of the new mutation has been detected in the country so far. According to the Health Ministry data, of the 22 cases, 16 have been reported from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon in Maharashtra while the rest of the cases have been reported from Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.

"Delta variant is found in 80 nations, incl India. It's considered a 'variant of concern'. Delta Plus found in 9 nations - the US, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia. 22 cases found of the new mutation have been in India so far. The variant is in the category of 'variant of interest': Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. 

"In India, 16 of the 22 cases of Delta Plus variant have been found in Ratnagiri and Jalgaon (Maharashtra) and some cases in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh", he added. 

The Health Secretary further stated that both Covishield and Covaxin -- COVID-19 vaccines used in India -- are effective against the Delta Variant, however, their extent of effectiveness will be known after further studies.

"Broadly speaking, both Indian vaccines we're using in COVID vaccination program- Covishield & Covaxin -are effective against Delta variant. But to what extent & what's the proportion of antibody titers that they produce, that we would share with you shortly", Bhushan said.  

The Health Ministry meanwhile stated that as India achieved a "historic milestone" of administering 88.09 lakh coronavirus vaccine doses in a single day on June 21, nearly 64 per cent of the jabs were given in rural areas.

Madhya Pradesh administered the maximum number of doses on June 21, followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam, the health ministry official said as quoted by PTI.

Addressing a joint press conference on the pandemic situation and vaccination status, the official said, "A historic milestone was achieved on 21st June 2021 -- 88.09 lakh doses administered in a single day. Of the doses, 36.32 per cent were administered in urban areas and 63.68 per cent in rural areas".

The government also said the coronavirus situation has been improving in the country but stressed following COVID-19-appropriate behaviours. It said there has been an almost 90 per cent decline in India's daily COVID-19 cases as compared to the highest peak reported on May 7.

India recorded less than 50,000 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 91 days, taking the total tally of cases to 2,99,77,861, while active cases fell below 7 lakh after 79 days. A total of 42,640 Covid infections were reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 3,89,302 with 1,167 daily fatalities, the lowest in 68 days.

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan