A new "double mutant variant" of the coronavirus has been detected in 18 states in the country in addition to many other strains or variants of concern (VOCs) which have also found abroad, the Health Ministry said today amid fears of a second wave of the crisis in the country.
"Though VOCs and a new double mutant variant have been found in India, these have not been detected in numbers sufficient to either establish a direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some States," the ministry said.
Out of 10,787, the British variant has been reported in 736 samples in India. The South African strain of coronavirus has been detected in 34 people in the country and the Brazil variant has been seen in one sample, the government said.
The samples were subjected to genome sequencing - a testing process to understand the complete genetics of an organism - by government consortium of ten national laboratories.
Genome tests were done on samples from arriving international travelers, contacts of those positive for the new strains and community samples from most of the states where the 10 national labs are there.
India today recorded 47,262 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest single-day rise since early November, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to over 1.17 crore, the Union health ministry said.
With COVID-19 cases on a worrying rise, the centre today urged states to ensure strict adherence to Covid protocols during upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Bihu, Easter and Eid-ul-Fitr.