New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Monday abated fears of an upcoming third wave of coronavirus and said that the Delta Plus variant is still “very localised” in India, even as it is present in 12 states across the country. Based on the data provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Centre issued an update stating that a total of 48 cases of Delta Plus variant have been identified so far from more than 45,000 samples collected during April, May and June.Also Read - COVID Symptoms? Follow These Measures Immediately For Quick Recovery And Help Others From Getting Infected

The ICMR has said that Delta Plus covid variant – which has been identified as a “variant of concern” – is already present in 12 countries across the world. However, earlier today, Union minister Jitendra Singh urged medical professionals “not to create panic” regarding a possible third wave. Also Read - India's Daily COVID Tally Crosses 13k Mark, Health Minister Mandaviya to Chair Crucial Meeting on Rising Cases

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The highest number of cases of the Delta Plus variant has so far been reported in three states – Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.

In an interview with news agency PTI, COVID Task Force chief Dr VK Paul, who is also a Niti Aayog Member, said that it will be unfair to put a date for any COVID wave as the behaviour of coronavirus is unpredictable and a disciplined and effective pandemic response can help the country get away from any significant outbreak.

Regarding the concerns over the Delta Plus variant, he asserted that there is no scientific data so far to establish that the new variant is highly transmissible or reduces vaccine efficacy.

Currently, three COVID vaccines — Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, Covishield by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Russia’s Sputnik V — are being used for inoculation in India, all of which are said to be highly effective against the new variants.

Daily fresh cases of COVID have come down from four lakhs during the peak of the second COVID wave to around 50,000 in the past few days and the unlock process or lifting of restrictions is underway in many parts of the country.