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Covid cases edging up in Maharashtra, UK’s new Eris strain detected 

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The number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra have started edging up which is giving rise to some concern. The new Eris or EG.5.1 strain, which has triggered an alarm with its rapid spread in the UK, has also been detected in the state.

The new Covid variant Eris or EG.5.1, which has been causing alarm as it spreads rapidly across the UK. Initially identified as a variant on July 31, Eris is a variant of the Omicron strain and has now become the second most prevalent one, accounting for a troubling one in ten Covid cases.

According to data from the state health department, the number of active Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra increased from 70 at the end of July to 115 on August 6. The number of Covid infections in the state Monday was 109.

“EG.5.1 was detected in Maharashtra in May. However, there is no surge in the cases of this variant in June and July. The earlier XBB.1.16 and XBB.2.3 Omicron variants are still dominating in Maharashtra,” Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, Maharashtra’s coordinator for genome sequencing, told the Times of India.

Doctors have emphasized the need to take precautions against the spread of the disease, especially among the elderly.

The new Covid variant codenamed Eris has started spreading in Britain, giving rise to fears of a fresh coronavirus wave.

Senior officials of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have raised the alarm about Eris, saying it already makes up one in seven new cases after reaching the UK towards the end of May, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Mail.

Hospitalisation rates are also starting to shoot up, sparking concern that the nation may be on the brink of being hit by a fresh wave, the report said. Leading experts fear the outbreak will continue to pick up pace in the coming weeks as part of the virus’s natural cycle.

However, some experts said it shows no sign of being more dangerous than the other strains circulating, including its ancestor Omicron.

Officials are closely monitoring the spread of the virus.