Wednesday 24 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): A new variant of Covid-19 dubbed 'Arcturus' is behind a fresh surge of infections in India.

The UK Mirror on Wednesday (April 12) reported that the Omicron sub-variant XBB.1.16 strain is causing havoc in the country where cases have soared 13-fold in the last month.

The British tabloid said India's Health Ministry launched mock drills this week in an attempt to see if hospitals are prepared to deal with a possible influx of patients following the rise in cases.

Wearing face coverings in public has been made compulsory again in some states, being the first time in more than a year for some.

One example is the southern state of Kerala where Health Minister Veena George reintroduced masks for the elderly, pregnant women, and those with underlying conditions.

This week, case numbers throughout India rose by 3,122 in a single day, the report added.

The Arcturus strain was first detected in late January and is currently being monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO), with officials noting some mutations of concern.

Meanwhile, India’s NDTV on Wednesday said Delhi's single-day Covid-19 cases count breached the 1,000 mark for the first time in over seven months on Wednesday, while the positivity rate stood at 23.8%, citing data shared by the health department.

It said the national capital logged 1,149 fresh cases along with one fatality.

However, the department said coronavirus was not the primary cause of death.

NDTV said Wednesday's cases were the highest since August 19 last year.

The city had on August 19 last year recorded 1,417 cases, with a reduced positivity rate of 7.53% and three fatalities due to the viral disease.

With the addition of the fresh cases, Delhi's infection tally has risen to 20,17,250. The death count stands at 26,546, the bulletin stated.

The fresh cases emerged out of 4,827 tests conducted the previous day.

Delhi logged 980 Covid cases on Tuesday, the highest since Aug 20, with a positivity rate of 25.98%, along with two fatalities.

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