The Centre on Tuesday declared the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus as a 'variant of concern' in India. In a press release on the rising number of Delta Plus cases in the country, the Union health ministry said Delta Plus is "currently a variant of concern".
This comes just a few hours after the ministry, in its routine press briefing on the coronavirus situation, had said Delta Plus was only a "variant of interest".
India is among the nine countries where the Delta plus mutation has been found so far, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press briefing earlier today, underlining that it is currently a "variant of interest" and has not yet been classified as a "variant of concern".
However, shortly after, the Centre took a U-turn and advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh to take up immediate containment measures, enhance testing, tracking and vaccination in districts and clusters where the Delta Plus variant has been detected, declaring it as a "variant of concern".
Twenty-two cases of the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus in India, with 16 of them being reported from Maharashtra and the remaining from Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, the government said on Tuesday.