At least three different COVID strains have been detected among 75 patients from Mizoram whose samples were randomly selected and sent for whole-genome sequencing, a health official said. Seventy-three cases of India’s highly transmissible Delta variant (B.1.617.2), and one case each of United Kingdom’s Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Eta (B.1.525) strains were found among 100 samples, state nodal officer and official spokesperson on COVID-19, Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma, said.
China rejected on Thursday a World Health Organization (WHO) plan for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which includes the hypothesis it could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, a top health official said.
The WHO this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.
The origin of the virus remains contested among experts.
The first known cases emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. The virus was believed to have jumped to humans from animals being sold for food at a city market.
In May, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered aides to find answers to questions over the origin saying that U.S. intelligence agencies were pursuing rival theories potentially including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.
India saw a single day rise of 41,383 coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,12,57,720, while the active cases registered an increase for the second consecutive day and were recorded at 4,09,394, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The country's COVID-19 death toll rose to 4,18,987 with 507 fresh fatalities.
The active cases comprise 1.31 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.35 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed. An increase of 2,224 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
As many as 17,18,439 tests were conducted on Wednesday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 45,09,11,712.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.41 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for 31 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.12 per cent.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,04,29,339 and the case fatality rate stands at 1.34 per cent, the data stated.
Cumulative vaccine doses administered so far has reached 41.78 crore under the nationwide vaccination drive. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.
(With inputs from PTI and other agencies)