Third wave in India? 5 states, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, report cases of new variant AY.4.2

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Amid fear of the third wave of COVID-19, the new variant AY.4.2 of the coronavirus has reached Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir. The new variant is under study and, according to experts, the new variant belongs to the delta plus variant family of COVID-19.

A slight increase in COVID-19 cases was recorded in Maharashtra on Wednesday, for the second day in a row. The state added a total of 1,485 new cases and 38 people have died from coronavirus.

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India has reported 16,156 new cases and 733 deaths in the past 24 hours. According to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of active cases stands at 1,60,989.

Meanwhile, government data has revealed that around 11 crore people are late to take their second COVID-19 vaccine despite crossing the wait time gap between the two doses. According to vaccine data, more than 3.92 crore of beneficiaries are more than six weeks late for their second dose.

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While about 1.57 crore is up to four to six weeks late, over 1.50 crore is two to four weeks late for their second dose of the Covaxin or Covishield vaccine. In addition, more than 3.38 crore people are up to two weeks late in getting their full immunizations.

The Union Department of Health has written to several states and Union territories asking them to prioritize the administration of the second dose to beneficiaries who have not yet taken their second dose.

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