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Indian COVID-19 variant cases up in some states

As country battles 2nd wave of COVID-19, top scientist warns of 3rd wave

Ahmad Adil   | 05.05.2021
Indian COVID-19 variant cases up in some states

NEW DELHI 

A few Indian states have seen an increase in cases of “double mutant” Indian variant (B.1.617) of the coronavirus, while the UK strain of the virus has witnessed a decline in recent weeks, the country’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

“Right now we are seeing it [B.1.617] increasing in some of the states. It [the increase] was found in Maharashtra [state] and it is now also seen in Delhi and Karnataka,” Dr. Renu Swarup, secretary at the Department of Biotechnology, said at a press briefing in New Delhi.

“What is the percentage [of the cases], that data is coming in,” Swarup added.

She said that the data about the double mutant Indian variant is correlated in terms of “transmissibility and severity”.

India has been battling a devastating second wave of the pandemic, with the country recording an exponential rise in daily cases. Many experts say that the spread of India’s double mutant variant may be the reason for the massive spike.

With 3,780 deaths on Wednesday, India recorded its highest single-day fatalities caused by the coronavirus since the pandemic began. The total number of coronavirus cases reached 20.66 million, with 382,315 fresh cases.

A top Indian scientist on Wednesday warned that a third wave is “inevitable” in the country.

“A phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus […] we should prepare for new waves,” said K.Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the government.

India has reported almost half of the new coronavirus cases recorded in the world last week, according to a World Health Organization report.​​​​​​​

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