The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday, flagged the presence of a new "double mutant variant" of SARS-CoV-2 in India, in addition to the several "variants of concern" that have already been found in at least 18 states.
Some of these "variants of concern" had earlier been detected abroad.
However, the ministry said that it is not yet clarified whether these variants were behind the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in some states.
It said genome sequencing by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) has identified variants of concerns (VOCs) in several states and a new double mutant variant.
"Since INSACOG initiated its work, 771 variants of concerns (VOCs) have been detected in a total of 10787 positive samples shared by States/UTs. These include 736 samples positive for viruses of the UK (B.1.1.7) lineage. 34 samples were found positive for viruses of the South African (B.1.351) lineage. 1 sample was found positive for viruses of the Brazilian (P.1) lineage. The samples with these VOCs have been identified in 18 States of the country." the Ministry said.
Meanwhile, today India recorded 47,262 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, the highest single-day rise since early November, taking the nationwide coronavirus tally to over 1.17 crore, the Union health ministry said.