Double mutant COVID-19 strain has been found in 10 states so far and could be the reason behind the surging cases. India, on April 15, hit a record daily high of 2,00,739 new COVID-19 cases.
"Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are among the states where double mutant strains were found," NDTV reported citing sources.
These mutants are playing a role in the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, the report said, adding that Delhi has also identified cases of the mutant strain.
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It cannot be said that double mutants are 100 percent responsible for the rise in cases, the report added.
A "double mutation" is when two mutated strains of a virus come together to form a third strain. The one reported in India is the result of the combination of E484Q and L452R strains.
Delhi has a mix of the UK strain of the virus as well strains with double mutations, while Punjab found British strain in 80 percent of people with COVID-19, the report said.
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Around 19 states, or 70 to 80 districts in the country, have reported UK strain of the coronavirus, sources added.
Meanwhile, 'double mutant' of coronavirus was detected in 61 percent of COVID-19 samples of Maharashtra sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, between January and March.
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The Union health ministry had, on March 24, flagged the presence of a double mutant variant and 771 'variants of concern (VOCs)' in 18 Indian states. The double mutant was then detected in "15-20 percent of the samples" from Maharashtra.
Out of the 771 VOCs, 736 samples were positive for viruses of the UK (B.1.1.7) lineage, and 34 were found positive for viruses of the South African (B.1.351) lineage and one was found positive for viruses of the Brazilian (P.1.) lineage.
Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high with over 2 lakh infections being reported in a day, while the active cases surpassed the 14- lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data, updated on April 15.