After the UK, South Africa and Brazil Covid-19 strains rose to touch to 194-mark on Friday, at least 18 States, including Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana have come under the scanner of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), a Central agency for disease surveillance and prevention.
These regions have added almost all the cases of Covid-19 strain from the UK, South Africa and Brazilian variants of SARS-CoV-2. Also, these States are reporting a surge in the Covid-19 cases, though the Union Health Ministry has denied that the increase is due to the new variants.
The NCDC has asked States to keep tabs on cases with variants arriving here from other countries as the tally of people infected from such strains has reached 194 in the country, according to the latest figures shared by the Union Health Ministry.
These include 187 cases of the UK variant, six from the South African variant while one has been found infected by the Brazilian one.
“The States have been told to increase monitor international arrivals and ensure strict isolation of positive cases, as per protocol as well as increase genome sequencing in the states,” an official from NCDC.
He also said the presence of the foreign variants has been also found in large States such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Sujeet Kumar Singh, the director of the NCDC confirmed that monitoring has increased after samples from these regions revealed the presence of mutated versions of the virus. “They have been further advised to send at least 5 per cent daily samples for genome sequencing as per the norm,” he added.
Scientists and researchers believe that the mutations in the foreign variants have enhanced the transmissibility of the virus as well as its virulence (the capability to bring more severity to the disease) and could be behind the surge in daily infections India has been recording for over a week.
Amid this, the Centre has confirmed detection of two new strains of the novel coronavirus–N440K and E484Q — other than the Brazilian, the UK and South African in the country. These variants have been found circulating in a few districts of Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana.
States such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh have again reported a surge in Covid cases. However, the Ministry has denied that the rise is due to the new variant.
Saturday, 27 February 2021 | PNS | New Delhi