A new strain of the Delta variant, first identified in India has been confirmed in the UK.

The Delta Plus strain has been labelled as a variant of concern in India after being detected in three states.

The mutated strain of coronavirus has been found in 16 people in Maharashtra with more cases in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.

It is still labelled a variant under investigation in the UK as the Delta variant is still the most common in the UK making up more than 99% of reported Covid-19 cases.

Now, Public Health England has confirmed 169 cases of the new strain have been detected since the first positive case was identified on May 21.

India's Union Health Ministry said Delta Plus shows increased transmissibility - meaning it spreads even more easily than other strains.

It also appears to attack lung cells more easily and could be resistant to a form of antibody therapy.

The BBC reports there have also been cases found in the USA, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, Russia and China.

The mutation of the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is officially named AY.1.

It carries the K417N, seen in the Beta variant, which is believed to affect vaccine efficacy

 Dr Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport told the BBC that people should “keep calm”.

"We don't have much reason to believe this is any more dangerous than the original Delta," he said.

"Delta plus might have a slight advantage at infecting and spreading between people who were previously infected earlier during the pandemic or who have weak or incomplete vaccine immunity.

"I would keep calm. I don't think India or anyone else in the world has released or accumulated enough data to distinguish the risk from the so-called Delta plus as being more dangerous or concerning than the original Delta variant."

Experts have said throughout the pandemic that coronavirus will mutate over time leading to new variants.