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No case of the new Covid-19 variant, which has a large number of mutations, has been reported in India so far, news agency ANI reported citing officials.

 

The government has asked all states and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana.

The Union ministry of health and family welfare said reports of mutations in the new variant had "serious public health implications".

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has called a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to discuss steps that need to be taken in view of the threat of the new COVID-19 variant.

New COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529

Assigned as B.1.1.529, the variant was first spotted in Botswana and the other circulating countries are Hong Kong and South Africa. The newly identified COVID-19 variant is causing an increase in new COVID-19 infections in South Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a special meeting to discuss the new Covid variant.

Scientists have so far only detected the B.1.1.529 variant in relatively small numbers in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, but they are concerned by its high number of mutations which could help it evade the body's immune response and make it more transmissible.

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