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The world has been grappling with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for the past year and a half, witnessing hundreds of deaths and shuttering of the economy. And compounding the problem are the mutations of the coronavirus, which are making it more deadly.
The current cause of concern in India and across the world is the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus. The highly transmissible variant is also believed to be impervious to some vaccines and therapies, concerning the experts.
Delta Plus is a mutated form of the Delta variant, first found in India in December, 2020. So far, it has been detected in 12 states, according to the government and claimed nearly 50 lives.
But apart from this, there are other variants too which have the potential – though not as pronounced as Delta Plus – to infect the people and bring the economy back to a grinding halt.
According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the prominent variants of that coronavirus are: Alpha, Beta and Delta.
The B.1.1.7, or the Alpha variant, was first detected in the United States in December, 2020, the CDC said. The source of the variant has been traced to the United Kingdom, according to CDC. Next is B.1.351 or Beta variant of coronavirus. It started from South Africa in December last year and reached the United States in January.
The Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, which was first identified in India, is believed to be more virulent than the others and os wreaking havoc in South Africa. It spreads more quickly than the other variants, leading to more cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The Delta Plus is a mutated, and thus more dangerous, form of the Delta variant, due to which the Indian government has already declared it as a ‘variant of concern.’
According to World Health Organization (WHO), the more a virus circulates in a population causing infection, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more it spreads, the more it replicates – and has more opportunities to undergo changes known as mutation – the WHO added.