The Maharashtra Health Department has warned that the recently discovered Delta plus variant could result in a third wave in the state. And it could hit as early as the next two to four weeks if people do not follow COVID appropriate behaviour.
An official has warned that it could spread at the double the rate. "The number of active patients could reach up to eight lakh, while 10% out of them could be children," said the department in a presentation attended by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The officials said that there were around 19 lakh cases in the first wave of COVID (post-March 2020 outbreak). However, in the second wave (which started around mid-February 2021), over 40 lakh infections have been detected so far in the state.
Upto 8 Lakh Active Cases
The officials also said that active COVID cases could reach up to 8 lakh, and out of them, 10 percent could be children. Earlier this week, the Centre said the highly transmissible Delta variant of the novel coronavirus had mutated further to form the 'Delta plus' or 'AY.1′ variant, but there is no immediate cause for concern in India as its incidence in the country is still low.
The new Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, which was first identified in India and one of the reasons behind the deadly second wave, they added.
The Delta variant upset UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan of lifting pandemic curbs due to a surge in COVID cases. It is spreading rapidly and has now been detected in more than 74 countries.