CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has reported its first case of Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 from here, with a city-based nurse getting infected with it, a top government official said on Wednesday.
The state health department had sent 1,159 samples in May to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia), a consortium of 28 labs tasked with genome sequencing of the virus causing Covid and reports of 772 samples were made available on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said.
"Of the 772 samples, one has been reported as Delta Plus variant from Chennai. It pertained to a 32-year-old lady employed as a staff nurse at a hospital," he told PTI.
The senior IAS official, who has been handling the pandemic crisis, said there was no need for alarm.
"We have seen the British variant and double mutant variant. There is no need to panic as of now," Radhakrishnan said and emphasised upon the need to adhere to Covid-19 prevention measures like wearing face mask, avoiding crowds and getting vaccinated.
The Delta Plus variant's properties, which are being investigated, is characterised by a mutation in the spike protein, which helps the virus gain entry into human cells.
Neighbouring Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have identified similar cases.
On Tuesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said the Delta variant is found in 80 countries around the world, including India, and it is a variant of concern.
The state on Wednesday reported 6,596 new Covid-19 infections and 166 deaths, taking the total numbers so far to 24,43,415 and 31,746 respectively.
Of the 166 fatalities, 57 were in private hospitals and 109 in government facilities.
The number of people who got discharged today was 10,432 and recoveries till date increased to 23,58,785.
Active cases, including those in isolation, as on today stood at 52,884, according to a bulletin.
Barring Coimbatore and Erode districts which reported 793 and 686 fresh infections respectively, 35 districts saw new cases either in double-digits or less than 500.
Coimbatore saw 25 fatalities followed by Chennai with 20, Vellore 15 and Erode five.
The State capital reported 396 fresh infections today while Vellore recorded 74 new cases.
Chennai's tally touched 5,30,432, Coimbatore saw 2,15,051, Chengalpattu 1,54,994 and Thiruvallur 1,10,056.
The active cases remain at 3,447 in Chennai.
In Coimbatore, it was 7,654.
In Chengalpattu, it was 2,025 and Thiruvallur recorded 900.