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Russia Confirms First Delta Plus Variant Cases

Delta Plus is a variant of the highly contagious Delta variant first detected in India that accounts for 90% of Moscow’s new Covid-19 cases. Denis Grishkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia has confirmed the first Delta Plus coronavirus variant infections within its borders days after media sounded the alarm about the presence of the potentially more dangerous new strain.

Consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Friday it was looking into an influenza research expert’s remarks to a St. Petersburg-based newspaper that the first case of infection with Delta Plus had appeared in Russia.

“The information was confirmed, this was indeed the Delta Plus variant,” Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova said at a task force meeting.

“The woman had a mild form of this virus, everything ended well here,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted her as saying.

Experts are studying whether Delta Plus — itself a slight variant of the highly contagious Delta variant first detected in India that accounts for 90% of Moscow’s new cases — is more dangerous or vaccine-resistant than the original Covid-19 strain.

Some global experts fear that an additional mutation of the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus could make it more resistant to antibodies.

Three patients infected with Delta Plus have reportedly died in India as of Monday, prompting the country’s richest state Maharashtra to tighten restrictions.

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