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New Variants of coronavirus detected in 18 states of India

New Variants of coronavirus detected in 18 states of India

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New Delhi: The health ministry said on Wednesday said “India has detected a new “double mutant variant” of the coronavirus. Two new ‘variants of concern’ and a new ‘double mutant’ COVID-variant has been found in India. However the government said that none of the recent spikes in Maharashtra, Punjab were attributable to the VOC.

The Union Health Ministry said that “Though VOCs (variants of concerns) and a new double mutant variant have been found in India, these have not been detected in numbers sufficient to either establish or direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some states. Genomic sequencing and epidemiological studies are continuing to further analyse the situation.”

“Since INSACOG initiated its work, 771 variants of concerns (VOCs) have been detected in a total of 10787 positive samples shared by States/UTs. These include 736 samples positive for viruses of the UK (B.1.1.7) lineage. Thirty-four samples were found positive for viruses of the South African (B.1.351) lineage. One sample was found positive for viruses of the Brazilian (P.1) lineage. The samples with these VOCs have been identified in 18 states of the country,” Union Health Ministry added.

The government said that “the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) is a grouping of 10 National Laboratories that was established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on December 25, 2020. INSACOG since then has been carrying out genomic sequencing and analysis of circulating Covid-19 viruses and correlating epidemiological trends with genomic variants. Genomic variants of various viruses are a natural phenomenon and are found in almost all countries.”

Genome tests were done on samples from arriving international travelers, contacts of those positive for the new strains, and community samples from most of the states where the 10 national labs are there.

“The analysis of samples from Maharashtra has revealed that compared to December 2020, there has been an increase in the fraction of samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations. Such mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity. These mutations have been found in about 15-20 percent of samples and do not match any previously cataloged VOCs. These have been categorized as VOCs but require the same epidemiological and public health response of ‘increased testing, comprehensive tracking of close contacts, prompt isolation of positive cases and contacts as well as treatment as per National Treatment Protocol’ by the States/UTs,” it added.

India reported a consecutive spike in the cases of coronavirus in several states. Maharashtra government imposed a lockdown in some districts while Punjab CM urged the central government to increase the vaccination process in Punjab.

India on Wednesday recorded 47,262 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 11,73,4,058.

The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 132 days, while the country’s COVID-19 death toll increased to 160,441, with 275 new fatalities, the highest in around 83 days.

The government of India is taking all necessary steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus cases in the nation. The New Delhi government has vaccinated more than 5 crore people so far.




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