THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: In another alarming development, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog, during the weekly COVID-19 update said that “N440K and E484Q have been found in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana. However, it cannot be assured that these two new virus strains are responsible for the surge of fresh COVID-19 in these states”.
In the wake of new mutant virus strains coming to light, the Prime Minister’s Office held a review of the Covid-19 situation in the country as six states reported a surge in infections. However, the health ministry denied any relation between the new strains and the recent spike. Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan briefed officials at PMO on Tuesday.
Echoing similar views, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR pointed “The E484Q strain was earlier detected in four sequences in Maharashtra as early as March and July 2020. And the N440K mutation has been reported on 13 different occasions between May and September 2020 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. Therefore, there is no direct relation between the recent surge in COVID19 cases in Maharashtra and some other States with the mutant virus strains N440K and E484Q of coronavirus disease.”
Emphasizing, the need for participation by private sector in the public immunization drive against Covid-19, Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan. Bhushan said “At present, 10,000 hospitals are involved in vaccination drive, of which 2,000 are private hospitals. In future, to ramp up vaccination coverage, we would need private sector to increase the pace of vaccinations”
India has already reported different mutants of the Covid-19 virus which includes the UK virus strain, the variant from Brazil and the South African strain. These three virus strain all together have affected at least 194 individuals across the country. And so for the present strain, Paul said “Since there is no scientific evidence so far to link the cases of the virus strains, therefore I call the research as work in progress”.