Two variants of SARS-CoV-2 – N440K and E484K – have been detected in Maharashtra and Kerala, but there is currently no reason to believe that they are responsible for the outbreak of cases in some districts of these two States, the Center said Tuesday.
One of the two variants was also detected in Telangana.
Speaking to a press conference in New Delhi, NITI member Aayog (Health) VK Paul said 187 people have tested positive for the UK strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the country so far, while that six people had detected with the South African variant. Additionally, one person has tested positive for the Brazil variant strain.
“SARS-CoV-2 variants N440K and E484K have been detected in Maharashtra. In Kerala and Telangana these variants have also been found. In addition, three other mutated strains – one each from UK, Africa South and Brazil are already present. But there is no reason for us to believe, based on scientific information, that they are responsible for the resurgence of the epidemic in some districts of Maharashtra and Kerala Mr. Paul said.
Reporting the detection alone does not lead to any attribution to a field phenomenon, because to link the occurrence of a viral mutation to a change in disease pattern, other epidemiological and clinical information must be linked to these mutants. Mr Paul said, adding: “because otherwise these (mutations) are happening but they have no influence on the pandemic.”
He said the behavior of the mutations was constantly and closely monitored across the country, and 3,500 strains have been sequenced so far.
“When we do the sequencing, we look for any abnormal changes in the character of the virus. We observed the mutants.
“Today, based on the information and analyzed and understood by a very eminent Scientific Advisory Group of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), we would like to stress that we do not see the attribution mutant strains or an upsurge in infection is observed in some districts. But this work is in progress. We will continue to monitor the situation with full responsibility, ”said Mr. Paul.
The SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) was created at the end of December for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance of circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2 in the country.
Stating that a large portion of the population is still vulnerable, Mr Paul stressed that behaviors appropriate to COVID such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, washing hands and not participating in mass gatherings should be followed.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said a total of 1,17,54,788 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the country until 1 p.m. Tuesday, with 1,04,93,205 receiving the first dose and 12,61,583 receiving the second dose. .
Mr Bhushan said 12 states and union territories, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha, administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine over 75% of registered healthcare workers, while 11 states and UTs, including Karnataka, Telangana, Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh, administered the first dose to less than 60 percent of health workers.
Two states, Kerala and Maharashtra, account for 75% of the total active COVID-19 cases in the country, and six people have been detected with the South African strain of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far.
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