New Delhi: A total of 349 samples of COVID-19’s XBB.1.16 variant, which might have been behind the recent rise of coronavirus cases in the country, have been detected, according to INSACOG data. These 349 samples of the variant have been found in nine states and Union Territories. The highest number of cases due to this variant has been found in Maharashtra at 105, followed by Telangana 93, Karnataka 61 and Gujarat 54, according to INSACOG data accessed by PTI.
XBB 1.16 was first found in January when two samples tested positive for the variant. In February, 140 samples of the XBB 1.16 variant were found. In March, 207 XBB 1.16 variant samples have been found till now, according to INSACOG data.
India has been witnessing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country recently.
On Thursday, India logged 1,300 new coronavirus cases, the highest in 140 days, while the active cases have increased to 7,605. The death toll has increased to 5,30,816 with three deaths. One death each has been reported by Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra, the data updated at 8 am stated.
Former AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Wednesday that the new XBB.1.16 variant could be driving the recent rise. However, he emphasised there was no need for panic as long it does not cause severe illness and death.
According to him, new variants will keep coming as the virus keeps on mutating over time and the XBB 1.16 is sort of a ‘new kid on the block’.
The XBB.1.16 is a recombinant lineage of the virus and is a descendent of the XBB lineage of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting and called for maintaining vigil and precaution amid a spike in influenza and coronavirus cases in the country in the past two weeks.
He stressed the need to enhance genome sequencing and adhereing to Covid-appropriate behaviour, an official statement said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.