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While there has been a dip in daily surge in infections in the last few months, 20 cases of new mutant strain - first reported in the UK in September - have triggered concerns of a fresh surge in the country's tally. Eight of these cases have been reported at a Delhi lab; seven have been reported at a Bengaluru lab.
On Tuesday India, which has logged the second highest number of cases after the United States, saw the lowest daily rise in infections in over six months with 16,432 cases recorded in the previous 24 hours. Active cases dropped below 2.7 lakh for the first time in six months, the Health Ministry said.
More than 98.34 lakh people have recovered from Covid since the first case was reported on January 30 from Kerala; the country has over 2.62 lakh active cases, the government data showed this morning.
The government on Tuesday said genome sequencing will be conducted on all international passengers who were symptomatic and tested positive for coronavirus in the 14 days from December 9 to 22. 33,000 passengers who returned from the UK between November 25 and December 23 are also being traced.
There is no reason yet to believe that it is more lethal or will not be controlled by a vaccine, say experts. Existing vaccine can fight the new strains, the government said on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Maharashtra has logged the most number of cases so far - 19.25 lakh, followed by Karnataka (9.15 lakh), Andhra Pradesh (8.81 lakh), Tamil Nadu (8.16 lakh), Kerala (7.49 lakh) and Delhi (6.24 lakh).
More men than women have been infected by Covid in India, the government data shows. While 63 per cent of the total patients were found to be men, 37 per cent were found to women. 70 per cent of patients who've died of Covid have been found to be men, and 30 per cen women, says data.
USA, Chile, Norway, Israel, Belgium, South Korea, Denmark, Australia are among the many countries where the cases of new strain have been found.
The World Health Organization on Monday warned that worse pandemics could lie ahead, urging the world to get "serious" about preparedness. "This is a wakeup call," WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan told reporters at a briefing.
Worldwide, over 8 crore cases of coronavirus have been logged so far; 17.89 lakh people have died.