The UK strain is driving the Covid surge in Delhi, an analysis of samples has revealed. Data released by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says over 400 cases of the UK strain and 76 of the Indian double mutant were found in Delhi.
Some 11 per cent samples from across India show "variants of concern".
A total of 1,644 cases of the UK strain have been found in India, 112 cases of the South African strain, one of the Brazilian strain and 732 cases of the double mutant that emerged in India.
Cases of the UK strain almost doubled to 50 per cent in samples from Delhi in March, according to the NCDC, one of the 10 laboratories involved in the genome sequencing of the virus.
"The UK strain directly correlates to the Delhi surge," said Sujeet Kumar Singh, director, NCDC, at a webinar on ''Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19'.
"In Delhi we have a different type of scenario. The UK variant and B 1617 (double mutation) are present. The scenario is still unfolding. But we've seen a rise from 28 per cent of UK variant on March 2 and it has risen to 50 per cent in the last week of March. If we co-relate with the surge, I think it directly co-relates with the type of variant we're observing," Mr Singh explained.
The link between variants and the current spike in Covid cases was established by genome sequencing of some 15,135 samples. Variants were detected in 1,735 cases - around 11.5 per cent.
Sixty-four cases of the UK strain were found in Maharashtra, six cases of the South African strain, one of the Brazilian strain and 427 cases of the Indian double mutant variant. Over 1,770 samples were sequenced for variants in Maharashtra.
In Delhi, 23 cases of the South African strain were also found. 3,208 samples were sequenced for variants in Delhi.
Punjab had 551 cases of the UK strain, two cases of the South African variant and one case of the double mutant.
In Telangana, 170 cases of the UK strain were found, 57 cases of South African strain and three cases of double mutant.
Bengal had 40 cases of the UK strain, nine cases of the South African strain and 124 cases of the Indian double mutant.
Punjab recorded the highest proportion of variants -- 73.5 per cent -- followed by UP (60%) and Telangana (41%).
Today, India reported 3.32 lakh Covid cases and 2,263 deaths in 24 hours, a new record of coronavirus infections in the country.