Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in India, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, 18 March, said that 400 patients have been found to be affected with UK, South Africa and Brazil mutant variants of coronavirus.
On 4 March, the country had recorded 242 cases with these variants. The reported cases increased by 158 in merely two weeks.
"The total number of cases with UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of the COVID virus in the country as on date is 400," the Ministry said in a statement.
A genomic consortium of ten regional laboratories with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the apex laboratory has been established to perform genomic sequencing of the samples from positive travellers and 5 percent of the positive test samples from the community.
The news has come in the backdrop of Maharashtra reporting an upsurge in COVID-19 cases. It accounts for over 63 percent of the daily cases.
On Thursday, the country recorded 35,871 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. A single-day spike of 36,011 new infections were recorded on 6 December 2020.