New Covid-19 strains in India: Two new variants ‘N440K’ and ‘E484K’ found in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana



  • In a massive development amid concerted efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday revealed that two new strains of the deadly Covid-19 virus have been detected in India.
    “There are two variants being talked about – N440K variant and E484K variant. Yes, these variants are there in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana,” Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said on Tuesday.
  • Three mutated strains of the coronavirus – one each from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil – are already present in the country.
    “Based on the information available to us, yes these variants are there but there’s no reason today for us to believe, on basis of scientific information that these are responsible for the upsurge of the outbreak that you see in some districts of Maharashtra and Kerala,” Dr Paul said.

Furthermore, he said that as many as 187 individuals have been detected with the UK strain, 6 people with South African strain and one with Brazilian strain till date in India.
  • The Health Ministry said that Kerala and Maharashtra continue to account for 75 per cent of the active cases in the country.
“There are still 2 states that have 75% active cases – Kerala and Maharashtra. Kerala has 38% of the total active cases of the country while Maharashtra has 37% of the total active cases. Karnataka has 4% & Tamil Nadu has 2.78% active cases,” Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, said.
  • The cumulative positivity rate in India is currently at 5.19%, and this is declining continuously. The positivity rate – cumulative as well as weekly and daily – is also declining across the country, Bhushan said.


  • Commenting on the nationwide vaccination drive, the Health Ministry official said that as many as 1,17,64,788 people have been vaccinated across the country till now as of 1 pm today.
“Over 1.17 crore vaccine doses administered across the country – 1.04 crore in first doses and 12.61 lakh in second doses. Active cases continue to be less than 1.50 lakh. If you look at average of deaths taking place daily, it was 92 last week, a trend of less than 100 deaths… Till 1 pm today, total vaccination stands at 1,17,64,788. Among these, 68% healthcare workers have been administered the first dose and 62% healthcare workers have been administered the second dose. A little over 41% of the frontline workers have been administered the first dose,” the Health Ministry said.


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