NEW DELHI: A new "double mutant variant" of the coronavirus has been discovered in 18 states across the country, in addition to many other strains or variants of concern (VOCs) found elsewhere, said the Health Ministry today.
VOCs and a new double mutant variant have been discovered in India, but not in adequate numbers to develop a direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some states.
The situation is still being investigated through genomic sequencing and epidemiological research said the ministry in its press release.
Since the beginning of INSACOG's work, 771 variants of concern (VOCs) have been detected in 10787 positive samples shared by States/UTs.
736 samples tested positive for viruses from the UK (B.1.1.7) lineage. A total of 34 samples tested positive for viruses belonging to the South African (B.1.351) lineage.
The viruses of the Brazilian (P.1) lineage were detected in one sample. The samples containing these VOCs have been reported in 18 states across the country.
With the second wave of Covid-19 cases hitting some states, the governments of the affected states are planning to put some areas under lockdown.
While some states have already imposed Covid-related restrictions and night curfews in affected districts, such as Punjab and Maharashtra, are reviewing whether a total lockdown in affected areas is necessary to stem the current case surge.
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