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Is Virus Mutation the Reason Behind Amravati Spike? Worried Officials Send Samples for Testing

Representative image.

Representative image.

The samples have been sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and the reports are awaited.

The Amravati division in the Maharashtra’s Vidarbha has emerged as a new Covid-19 hotspot with reporting the highest number of cases in the state. As state officials scramble to contain the situation, there are fears of a possible mutation in the virus which could have possibly caused the spike.

The samples have been sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and the reports are awaited.

The Print reported on Monday that earlier there were reports that genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples has found E484K mutation in one sample in Amravati and N440K mutation in another sample in Yavatmal, which are foreign mutants. However, the state authorities denied this claim on February 19.

“The districts of Amravati, Yavatmal, Akola and Pune have sent samples for genome sequencing to check for mutations to Pune’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) and one other institute. It will take eight to 10 days to get the results. Otherwise, there aren’t any specific local factors pertaining to the Amravati division that we can identify as reasons for the rise in cases,” Dr Archana Patil, director, Directorate of Health Services, was quoted as saying by The Print.

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In the past 12 days, the region has reported a total of 21,193 cases, which on an average comes to 1,766 cases a day. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has since February 11 reported 14,492 cases and its per-day average cases is 1,207.

Meanwhile, Mumbai reported 760 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, a drop from 921 a day earlier, and four fresh fatalities, while the number of recoveries crossed the 3-lakh mark, the city civic body said.

According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, the COVID-19 tally increased to 3,19,888 with the addition of 760 new cases, while the toll rose to 11,446 with four new deaths.

After reporting over 900 cases for two days in a row, the number of single-day infections dropped on Monday.A day before, the financial capital had reported 921 new COVID-19and four fatalities.

According to the data, with 634 more patients recovering from COVID-19, the number of people discharged from hospitals crossed the 3-lakh mark and jumped to 3,00,180. The number of patients under treatment also rose to 7,397 in Mumbai, where the COVID-19 recovery rate stood at 94 per cent, it showed.

The average growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the city has increased to 0.22 per cent from 0.17 per cent on Thursday, whilethe average doubling rate went down to 321 days from 417 days during the same period. With 13,293 more COVID-19 tests, the number ofsamples examined so far in Mumbai increased to 31,46,722.

Last week, the civic body of Mumbai had increased the number of COVID-19 tests to over 22,000 per day from earlier 15,000 days. Meanwhile, according to a BMC official, 10,556 people - 3,850 healthcare professionals and 6,706 frontline workers - were administered COVID-19 vaccines at 30 centres.

This took the number of people inoculated so far in Mumbai to 1,79,825. The official said of the 10,556 people, 2,764 were administered the second dose, taking the number of such workers to 7,819.

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