New variants of Covid-19 not behind rise in cases in Maha, Kerala: Govt

at 8:26 pm
VK Paul

New Delhi (NVI): The government has detected two variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Maharashtra and Kerala but no reason available to believe that they are responsible for the upsurge in cases in these two states, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said.

Addressing a Health Ministry media briefing, Paul said, “There are two variants being talked about – N440K variant and E484K variant. Yes, these variants are there in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana.”

He added that there is no reason for us to believe, on the basis of scientific information, that they are responsible for the upsurge of the outbreak in some districts of Maharashtra and Kerala.

Paul also informed that as many as 187 individuals have been detected with United Kingdom COVID-19 strain, six people with South African strain and one with Brazilian strain till date in India.

In addition, he said the behavior of mutations is being constantly and closely watched in the country and 3,500 viruses have been sequenced so far.

The NITI Aayog member further said that three mutant coronavirus strains first detected in other countries were found in India.

He also warned that a large population is still vulnerable and urged people to strictly follow COVID appropriate behavior like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, handwashing and not getting into crowded places.

During the same briefing, Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary also said Kerala and Maharashtra continue to account for 75 per cent of the active cases in the country so far.

“There are still 2 states that have 75 per cent active cases – Kerala and Maharashtra. Kerala has 38 per cent of the total active cases while Maharashtra has 37 per cent of the total active cases and Karnataka has 4% & Tamil Nadu has 2.78 per cent active cases,” he added.