India has detected two new variants of the virus namely N440 K and E484Q in Maharashtra and Kerala, the Union Health Ministry has said. The government, however, noted that there is no scientific evidence to believe that these two newer virus strains are responsible for the surge in cases in some districts in these two states.
“Two new variants -N440K and E484Q have been found in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana. However, it cannot be assured that these two new virus strains are responsible for the surge of fresh COVID-19 in these states,” Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog said during the weekly COVID-19 update. The E484Q strain was earlier detected in four sequences in Maharashtra as early as March and July 2020.
The N440K mutation has been reported on 13 different occasions between May and September 2020 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Assam,” Dr Bhargava said. India has already reported different mutants of the Covid-19 virus. These include the UK virus strain, the variant from Brazil and the South African strain.