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The Health Ministry of India has announced the detection of a new ‘double mutant variant’ of the coronavirus. At the same time, there are growing concerns over a single-day record of new infections and deaths.
According to a report by the health ministry, India has detected a new “double mutant variant” of the coronavirus, which raises new alarms as the government is struggling with a recent rise of new infections and deaths that lead to a new daily record.
In Maharashtra's state, during a recent analysis of samples involving genome sequencing, they found mutations in the virus that do not match previously recorded “variants of concern” (VOC), the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Maharashtra is one of India’s worst-affected states, but the ministry did not specify if the new variant was causing a surge there or elsewhere in the country.
“Though VOCs and a new double mutant variant have been found in India, these have not been detected in numbers sufficient to either establish a direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some states,” the ministry said in a statement without further details.
India has already reported several cases of variants, including the one from Britain and those from South Africa and Brazil.
This Wednesday, the country reported 47,262 new infections over the previous 24-hour period, the highest since early November, taking its overall tally to 11.7 million. Only the United States and Brazil have higher caseloads. The previous day the country had reported 275 COVID-related deaths, the most this year, taking the total to 160,441, according to government data.
The health ministry advised states to restrict public observation of festivals. “Any laxity at this point in ensuring strict adherence … to contain the spread of COVID-19 may result in losing the impetus and benefits that our country has gained so far in managing the virus,” the statement pointed out.
The federal government's efforts to tackle the surge include expanding the nationwide inoculation campaign to include all citizens above 45 years and appeal to the population at large to get vaccinated.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | Brazil reports 3,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day and 100,000 new cases as The National Council of Health Secretaries warned that Intensive Care occupancy is now around 80%. pic.twitter.com/btgzjdeQ0M