India’s Health Ministry on Wednesday reported a new variant of the Coronavirus which it says is potentially ‘troublesome’
Health officials and experts however, cautioned against linking the variants with an ongoing surge in new infections in the country.
Cases in India had been plummeting since September and life was returning to normal. But cases began spiking in February and more than 47,000 new infections were detected in the past 24 hours, along with 275 deaths, the highest one-day death toll in more than four months.
Officials say the virus has been mutating throughout the pandemic. and scientists have been investigating which ones might make the virus spread more easily or make people sicker.
The three variants first detected in South Africa, Britain and Brazil are considered the most worrisome and have been designated “variants of concern”.
Meanwhile health officials have admitted concerns about upcoming festivals, many of which mark the advent of the spring. India’s government has written to states to consider imposing restrictions, but many celebrants have defied distancing and virus protocols.