As Covid-19 Shrouds Southern India Yet Again, Bengaluru Emerges as The Epicentre
As the Covid-19 tsunami hurtles across India, ravaging lives and livelihoods and everything else that comes in its wake, its aftershocks are being felt down south too. Three states – Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – are reporting fresh spikes in infections often scaling, and even surpassing, highs recorded during the pandemic’s first wave. On Wednesday, Karnataka recorded 50,112 new coronavirus cases – its highest ever single-day record. Of these, Bengaluru alone accounted for 23,106 infections.
UK Variant Dominates North India; Double Mutant in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka: NCDC Chief
The UK strain of coronavirus is currently dominating parts of north India while the double mutant variant is found mostly in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Sujeet Singh said on Wednesday. He, however, added that the B1.1.7 lineage of SARS CoV-2 (UK variant) is declining in proportion across the country in the last month and a half. Addressing a press conference, he said the B.1.1.7 (UK strain) is dominating parts of north India including Punjab (482 samples), Delhi (516), followed by Telangana (192), Maharashtra (83) and Karnataka (82).
CCMB Debunks Reports Claiming New Andhra Pradesh Strain ’15 Times More Virulent’
Refuting reports claiming of a unique Covid-19 strain found in Andhra Pradesh, the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) on Wednesday said the prevalence of ‘N440K variant’, particularly detected in Visakhapatnam, is less than 5 per cent and likely to disappear soon. Speaking exclusively to ThePrint, CCMB Director, Rakesh Mishra said that the N440K variant will be soon replaced by the existing coronavirus strains and there is no evidence which showed that the N440K strain is deadly or more infectious than other variants.
Mamata Becomes Second Woman After Sheila Dikshit to Become CM for Three Consecutive Terms
As Mamata Banerjee takes oath for the office of the Chief Minister for the third consecutive term in West Bengal, she became the second woman in India to do so after Sheila Dikshit. But in comparison, unlike the Congress, the vote share of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) has increased from about 39 percent in 2011 to close to 48 percent in 2021, official data suggests. Banerjee is not just making history in West Bengal by becoming the only woman in the State to take charge as the chief minister for the third time but she is also making history as one of the longest-serving woman chief ministers in India.
Third Wave of Coronavirus Inevitable, We Need to be Prepared: Govt
The government said on Wednesday a third phase of the coronavirus pandemic was “inevitable”, but it is not clear on what time scale this phase would occur and hence, we should be prepared for the same. The Union Health Ministry held a briefing on the current COVID-10 situation and the vaccination programme underway in the country. Senior officials said the long COVID wave of such “ferocity” that the country was experiencing currently “was not predicted”.
3 Militants Killed in Encounter with Security Forces in J-K’s Shopian
Three militants were killed after an encounter with security forces in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, police said. A newly recruited militant, Tausif Ahmad, surrendered. Operations are still on. The security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Kanigam area of the South Kashmir district during the night following information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.