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As per the latest government data, ninety-five per cent of the Covid-19 samples from Delhi sequenced at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the last six months were found infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

While Delhi has sent 7,281 samples for genome sequencing to NCDC since the Covid-19 pandemic started, the genome sequencing data revealed the presence of the Delta variant in 2,709 of the 6,541 samples with lineages.

The government data showed 96 per cent of the samples sequenced in November had the Delta variant.

The highly contagious variant, allegedly responsible for the devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India, was detected in 99 per cent of the samples in October and 98 per cent in September, the data showed.

Ninety-seven per cent of the samples in August, 91 per cent in July and 89 per cent in August had the same variant.

The genome sequencing laboratory at the Lok Nayak Hospital also found the Delta variant in 101 of the 105 samples with lineages.

Doctors at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences found the variant in 531 of the 789 samples with lineages since the facility started sequencing Covid-19 samples in July. 

Meanwhile, the new Covid variant Omicron represents a fresh challenge to global efforts to battle the pandemic with several nations already re-imposing restrictions many had hoped were a thing of the past.

It is the latest coronavirus strain to emerge since the start of the pandemic, including the currently dominant Delta variant, which was first detected in India in October 2020.

More than 200,000 people around the country died in a devastating Covid wave between April and June that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums.

It struck after one of the world's biggest religious gatherings, the Kumbh Mela, which attracted around 25 million Hindu pilgrims.

That gathering, along with large state election rallies, was blamed by experts for fuelling the Delta surge.

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