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India logs lowest active COVID cases in 243 days; AY.4.2 reported in 6 states

India on Tuesday (October 28) reported a decline in active COVID-19 cases to 1,60,989, the lowest in 243 days even as 16,156 people tested positive for the virus, taking the country’s total tally to 3,42,31,809.

According to Health Ministry data, the death toll climbed to 4,56,386 with 733 fresh fatalities including 622 from Kerala.

Meanwhile, states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra have reported cases of the AY.4.2 variant, a sub-lineage of the highly infectious Delta variant of Sars-Cov-2. The Delta variant is suspected to have triggered the second wave of the pandemic in the country in April-May.

Also read: Another surge? China, Russia, Belgium scramble as COVID cases shoot up

Based on the assumptions by authorities in UK that the variant could be a fitter version of its parent, experts conducting genome surveillance of the Sars-Cov-2 in India are analysing a set of 15-17 sequences to check if they come under the classification of the AY.4.2 variant.

AY.4.2 has almost the same mutations as Delta, but with the exception of three additional mutations.

However, the India Sars-Cov-2 Genome Consortium, the body of scientists tracking new variants of COVID-19 in India, has said that AY.4.2 is “very infrequent” in India even though had led to a rise in cases in United Kingdom.

On Thursday, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil tweeted that he has tested positive for the virus for a second time in a year. Patil had taken both the doses of the vaccine.

“I have tested positive. My condition is stable and I am following my doctor’s advice. I urge all those who came in contact with me during Napur and Amravati tour and other programs, to get themselves tested,” he tweeted.

In its COVID bulletin published on Thursday, the Health Ministry said the daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 34 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 123 consecutive days now. The active cases comprise 0.47 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.20 per cent, the highest since March 2020, it said.

Also read: New COVID variant likely more transmissible, but less fatal: ICMR

A decrease of 1,672 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. According to the ICMR, 12,90,900 tests were conducted on Wednesday, taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 60,44,98,405. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.25 per cent. It has been less than two per cent for last 24 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 1.19 per cent. It has been below two per cent for the last 34 days.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,36,14,434, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.33 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 104.04 crore.

(With inputs from agencies)

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