Shafaq News / 386,452 new cases and 3,498 deaths over the past 24 hours in India, a record in the Country that struggles to curb Covid-19.
The last 24 hours brought India's tally of infections to more than 18 million (18,762,976). It was also one of deadliest day so far, carrying the toll to 208,330.
Experts believe the official tally vastly underestimates the actual toll in a nation of 1.35 billion, however.
The World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update that India accounted for 38% of the 5.7 million cases reported worldwide to it last week.
Early modeling showed that the B.1.617 variant of the virus detected in India had a higher growth rate than other variants in the country, suggesting increased transmissibility, it said.
The WHO has described it as a "variant of interest", suggesting it may have mutations that would make the virus more transmissible, cause more severe disease or evade vaccine immunity. Other strains with known risks, such as those first detected in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, have been categorised as "variants of concern," a higher threat level.
Meanwhile, France and Romania detected its first cases of contamination with the variant.