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Live: India Covid variant found in 44 countries, black fungus cases found in many Indian cities

pRelatives mourn during the cremation of a person who died due to Covid-19 in New Delhi on 11 May, 2021. /p

Relatives mourn during the cremation of a person who died due to Covid-19 in New Delhi on 11 May, 2021.

The World Health Organisation has said that a variant of Covid-19 that was first detected in India has been found in dozens of countries across the world and it is transmitting more easily than the original virus.

The agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 had been detected in more than 4,500 samples "from 44 countries in all six WHO regions,” according to AFP. Apart from India, Britain had reported the highest number of Covid cases caused by the variant.

The WHO listed B.1.617 as a “variant of concern” earlier this week and said its spread, alongside other more variants, seemed to be one of the reasons behind India's deadly second wave.

In India, mucormycosis or “black fungus” in Covid-19 patients have become an added cause of worry as several states report a rise in cases. Mucormycosis is a rare but serious fungal infection, and can cause loss of sight.

Meanwhile, the United States has begun inoculating children as young as 12 after Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine was authorised for emergency use in that age group.

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Anthony Fauci says India opened up prematurely

America's top public health expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said that India has been witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases because it opened up prematurely.

“The reason that India is in such dire straits now is that they had an original surge and made the incorrect assumption that they were finished with it,” he said at a Senate hearing on Covid-19 response.

He said they “opened up prematurely and wound up having a surge right now that we’re all very well aware of is extremely devastating.”

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India’s daily Covid-19 deaths rise by a record 4,205

India reported 348,421 new Covid-19 cases and a record 4,205 deaths in the 24 hours ending on Wednesday morning.

The overall caseload has now surged past 23 million and total fatalities are past the 250,000 mark, according to health ministry data.

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Good morning, and welcome toThe Independent’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for Wednesday 12 May, 2021.

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