Two new variants in Maharashtra, Kerala, but not linked to fresh spike: Govt

PMO reviews situation, teams rushed to Punjab, four other states

New Delhi, February 23

The government on Tuesday reported two new variants of Covid-19 causing Sars-Cov2 virus in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana, but said these did not cause the recent surge in the states.

Traditional drugs at global stage

Amid Coronil row, PM Modi has backed the traditional drug sector saying it had gained global prominence.

Maharashtra puts rider on sale of Coronil

The sale of Patanjali’s Coronil tablets, questioned by the IMA, would not be allowed in Maharashtra without “proper certification”, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said.

Will use private sector for vaccination: Govt

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said once the population priority group’s inoculation starts, which will be very soon, the government will use private sector facilities to increase the pace of vaccination.

Terming the spike in new cases in Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and J&K a “concern”, the Health Ministry said it had sent Central teams in these areas to investigate the cause behind the rising cases. Daily new infections in Punjab have grown from 188 on January 28 to 388 today.

The PM’s Office, meanwhile, reviewed the Covid status and vaccination coverage today with top Central experts. After the meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “The mandate of the Central teams is to investigate the reasons behind case surges in the five states.”

The national Covid graph remained stable with active cases falling below 1.50 lakh today to settle at 1.47 lakh. The active infections had crossed 1.50 lakh yesterday after 17 days.

Member, Health, NITI Aayog VK Paul informed about new mutations N440K and E484Q in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana but said these did not cause a surge.

There are now 187 cases of UK strain, six of the South African variant and one of the Brazilian strain in India.

The ICMR added that the variants detected in Maharashtra and Kerala had been found in other countries and were not specific to India. “The situation is however being monitored,” ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said.— TNS

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