Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the health ministry informed that 400 patients have been found to be affected with UK, South Africa and Brazil mutant variants of the coronavirus. On March 4th India had recorded 242 cases with UK, South Africa, Brazil Covid-19 mutant variants, within a span of two weeks 158 more new positive mutant cases are detected.
“The total number of cases with UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of the Covid virus in the country as on date is 400,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said in a statement.
A genomic consortium of ten regional laboratories with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the apex laboratory has been established to perform genomic sequencing of the samples from positive travellers and five per cent of the positive test samples from the community.
The news has come in the backdrop of Maharashtra reporting an upsurge in COVID-19 cases. It accounts for over 63 per cent of the daily cases.
The country is witnessing a spike in new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. States like Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh, tests have failed to keep pace with the increasing number of cases and positivity rates.
In many states and UTs like Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, MP, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh, the share of RT-PCR is also significantly low. The Centre has advised states witnessing a surge to increase tests in proportion to the positivity rate and also maintain the share of RT-PCR at a minimum of 70 per cent.
The health ministry has also asked states to ensure strict adherence to mask-wearing, physical distancing, and hand hygiene along with greater vigilance and monitoring at the highest levels for all potential events where crowds gather.