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India reports 40 cases of new 'delta plus' strain

'Variant of concern' sparks worries of third wave of COVID-19

NEW DELHI -- Around 40 cases of the 'delta plus' strain -- a mutated version of the highly contagious delta variant that drove the much of the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India -- have been detected in the country, the health ministry said Wednesday, amid concerns over a possible resurgence of infections in the South Asian nation.

Three Indian states -- Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, where the delta plus variant, also known as AY.1, has been observed sporadically -- have been advised to step up surveillance and undertake appropriate public health measures, the ministry said.

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