New Delhi: After the new COVID variant AY.4. was detected in several states, experts fear that the COVID third wave has arrived in the country. The fear among them comes after the new COVID variant was detected in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir. However, the new COVID variant is under investigation and experts say that the new variant is from the delta plus variant family of COVID-19.Also Read - Thermal Screening, RT-PCR Test Counters: How Mumbai Airport Gears Up After 1st Omicron Case Detected in Maharashtra

On the other hand, various states like West Bengal, Maharashtra and Kerala are witnessing increase in COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, Maharashtra for the second day in a rowrecorded 1,485 new cases and 38 people died due to coronavirus. Also Read - 'Very Unfortunate': Maharashtra's First Omicron Patient is a Marine Engineer. Here's Why He Could Not be Vaccinated

In the wake of the rising cases, the Union Health Ministry has written to several states and Union Territories urging them to prioritise administering the second dose to beneficiaries who are yet to take their second dose. Also Read - India Reports 2 More Omicron Cases, Centre Urges States to Take Steps to Control COVID Spread | Key Points

Karnataka: At present, Karnataka has seven cases of Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus, including two AY.4.2 in the city. “Three such cases are reported in Bengaluru and the remaining four in different parts of the state,” State Health and Family Welfare Commissioner D Randeep told PTI.

However, he said that there are no reports of deaths due to the new variant but, one or two people have been hospitalized.

Rajasthan: The Rajasthan government has expressed concern over the new COVID variant, and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asked the central government to prepare and issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) for its prevention. In a tweet, he said many cases of Delta Plus AY.4.2, a new mutated form of coronavirus that has killed thousands of people in several countries like Russia and the UK, have been found in India.

The chief minister added that the government should learn from previous experiences and make full preparations to deal with the new variant.