- February 23, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Daily News
- India said on 23 Feb 21 mutated versions of coronavirus were not responsible for an upsurge in cases in two states, a potential relief for a country where mask-wearing and social distancing have largely disappeared.
- Maharashtra in the west and Kerala in the south account for 75% of India’s current active cases of about 147,000, and both states have seen a sudden rise in new infections in recent days, fuelling calls for a faster roll-out of vaccines.
- A top government health official confirmed the long-time presence of two mutants – N440K and E484Q – in those two states as well as elsewhere in the country and abroad. Authorities have also found the UK variant in 187 people in India, the South African one in six and one case of the Brazilian mutation.
- “There is no reason now for us to believe, on the basis of scientific information, that these are responsible for the upsurge of the outbreak,” Vinod Kumar Paul, who heads a government committee on vaccines, told a news conference.
- Meanwhile, the northern state of Punjab, which has also seen a rise in cases, said indoor gatherings would be restricted to 100 and outdoor to 200 from 1 Mar 21. District heads have also been permitted to decide on night curfews in hotspots, and testing will be increased, the state’s chief minister said.
- Punjab is one of the worst performing states in vaccinating their healthcare workers, according to the federal government.
- The government on 23 Feb 21 asked five states, including Maharashtra and Punjab, to expedite vaccination of their healthcare and frontline workers in light of the surge in cases, according to letters shared by the health ministry.
External Link : https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2AN16I