Kerala reports 6,004 new Covid cases, 5,158 recoveries (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 23 : The Centre on Tuesday informed that it has found two specific variants of SARS-CoV-2 -- N440K and E484K -- circulating in three states, Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana, which have been detected with high number of mutations. However, no causal link between these two variants and the outbreak in Kerala and Maharashtra have been established so far, it added.

"The genome sequencing of positive patients have confirmed two variants which are detected with a larger number mutations than the one dominating the country. They are found circulating in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana," informed V.K. Paul, Member (health), NITI Aayog, and head of the National Task Force on Covid-19.

However, he clarified that the variants cannot be attributed to the upsurge in the number of infections a few states have been witnessing in the country.

"There is no evidence for us to believe that these are responsible for the upsurge of the outbreak in some of the districts in Maharashtra and Kerala," he said.

Paul assured that the government is constantly monitoring the behaviour of the mutations in the country.

Meanwhile, Paul also informed that the count of people infected by the South African variant has risen to six, which the Union Health Ministry had reported to be four last week.

Last week, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) found as many as 192 cases of Covid-19 affected by the new variants of mutated SARS-CoV-2 in the last two months, including four from the variant that emerged in South Africa and one from Brazil. The remaining 187 were found infected by the UK variant.

However, the number of patients infected by the UK and Brazil variants has not changed in that duration. The tally of patients infected from the imported variants of novel coronavirus has reached 194 in the country.

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