Scientists believe that a new descendant of the Covid-19 XBB variant could be behind the recent surge in coronavirus cases in India over the past few days.
The fast-spreading variant has been detected in various countries including China, Singapore, and the United States.
An international platform tracking Covid variants say that India reported the highest number of XBB 1.16 variant cases. Currently, the tally stands at 48 in India, while the US and Singapore detected 15 and 14 cases respectively,
“Thee India states–Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra–are having a high prevalence of XBB 1.16 Covid variant,” a top genome expert said.
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday informed that India recorded 734 fresh Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, after a gap of over four months, taking the active caseload to 4,623. The total tally of Covid cases reported so far has reached 4.46 crore (4,46,92,710).
Earlier on Saturday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote a letter to the States and Union Territories. Bhushan flagged that the gradual rise in Covid-19 test positivity rates in some States is a concerning issue that needs to be promptly addressed.
“Despite the low number of new cases, equally low number of hospitalizations and significant advances made in terms of Covid-19 vaccination coverage, there is still a need to remain vigilant and focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid appropriate behavior,” Bhushan said in his letter.