Published: 22nd February 2021
What the FAQ: What are the new COVID-19 variants, are the symptoms different?
India's total tally of COVID-19 cases surpassed 1.10 crore with 14,199 new infections being reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry data stated on Monday
All India Institute of Medical Sciences has recently stated that the new strains of the Coronavirus found in India are likely to be highly transmissible and dangerous. There is a fresh rise in cases across the country with a likely second wave of infections looming upon us.
Here, we try to explain how many of these new strains are there, what are the new symptoms to look out for and more.
What are the new Indian COVID strains? How many are there?
Ans: New Indian COVID-19 strains have been found in Maharashtra with the second wave looming over the state and the country. The new strains could be highly transmissible and dangerous, All India Institute of Medical Sciences has stated. Dr Shahshank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra's COVID Task Force said that the new strains can even cause re-infections in people who have developed antibodies to the virus. At least 240 new strains of the virus have surfaced across India, which are behind the fresh surge of infections Maharashtra has been witnessing since last week, according to several news reports.
Are the symptoms different for the new strains?
Ans: Variants have genetic codes which mean that they can be different in their means of interacting with our body or presenting symptoms. What has been seen until now is that people detected with the newer COVID variants and sequences showcase a different plethora of symptoms, which are also different from the classic ones.
- People being diagnosed with the newer variants are increasingly reporting muscle aches, pains as their initial symptom.
- Chronic fatigue, disorientation, viral malaise
- Persistent cough, along with a sore throat is one of the early symptoms in the new strains
- Loss of smell is less commonly reported in patients with new variants
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What should be done to stay safe?
Ans: The way forward for the country is to aggressively test, isolate infections and carry out contact tracing, AIIMS Chief, Dr Randeep Guleria has said. The vaccines might need a modification in accordance with the new mutations, for which AIIMS has recommended carrying out regular surveillance for data collection. The new strain of the virus is also found to be causing pneumonia in patients in the early stages of the disease. AIIMS has been advising people to maintain 'Covid appropriate behaviour' and not take the virus lightly.
Where have the number of cases spiked?
Ans: Besides Maharashtra, four more states — Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab — have been witnessing a spike in numbers as the new strains have come into being.
What are the numbers of cases in India currently?
Ans: India's total tally of COVID-19 cases surpassed 1.10 crore with 14,199 new infections being reported in a day, while active cases registered an increase for the fifth consecutive day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. The total Coronavirus cases have increased to 1,10,05,850, while the death toll increased to 1,56,385 with 83 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,06,99,410 which translates to a national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.22 per cent and the case fatality rate stands at 1.42 per cent.