K. Sudhakar. (Photo: Twitter@mla_sudhakar). Image Source: IANS News

Bengaluru, June 23 : Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Wednesday said that the first case of Delta Plus strain of Covid-19 has been reported in Mysuru and the infected person is asymptomatic.

He told reporters here that none of the patient's contacts have contracted the virus.

"In Mysuru, one patient is infected with Delta Plus variant, whom we have isolated but he is asymptomatic and none of his primary and secondary contacts have it which is a good sign," Sudhakar said.

He added that the state government was cautious, keeping track of the emergence of new strains since Covid hit the state in March last year.

"We are planning to establish six more genomic sequencing labs in order to augment overall testing abilities across the state," he noted.

Sudhakar said that the government had not shown any laxity in testing as wherever there was a suspicion, it had conducted genomic sequencing and frequently carried out random checks too.

"We are checking five per cent of the total samples randomly to keep track of emerging variants in this deadly virus. The state is, on an average, conducting about 1.5 lakh to two lakh Covid tests on a daily basis," he said.

According to health experts, the new Delta Plus strain is much like the Delta strain that has spread to 80 countries, is highly infectious and fast-spreading.

A senior health official told IANS quoting the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) surveillance bulletin, that the Delta Plus strain shows increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potentially reduced monoclonal antibody response.

"It may also show resistance to existing treatment protocols for Covid, experts worry. There are concerns over whether current vaccines will be effective against the Delta Plus," the expert, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, noted.

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