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(IANS)

In a statement released on Sunday, the Kerala health department revealed that it has detected 11 COVID-19 variants in the state.

It said that the Omicron variant was found in 6,728 samples collected after December 2021. The new XE, XH, HQ, and Omicron BA.5 variants were also confirmed in the state, as seven samples were found to have the XE variant and eight had the HQ strain.

Besides Omicron, the other dominant variants currently present in Kerala are Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

The state witnessed a decline in fresh COVID-19 cases in February, right after the third wave in January. By March, the single-day tally further dipped to 1,000, and this trend continued till the second week of May.

But now, Kerala is seeing a steady increase of new cases, with the daily tally above 3,000.

Despite the latest developments, the health department has assured its residents that the situation is under control, as most of the people in the state are vaccinated against the virus and the variants are not deadly.

Nevertheless, the department has urged people to maintain COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks, social distancing, and proper and regular sanitising of hands.

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Kerala has reported 66.66 lakh cases and 70,122 deaths.

Currently, 28,022 people are receiving treatment for the disease.

Meanwhile, amid the heavy monsoon rains, fever cases are also on the rise. Besides the regular influenza-related cold and fever, the likes of scrub typhus fever, rat fever and tomato fever have also been reported.

Twenty-five people have died of rat fever in the state, while 28 others lost their lives due to dengue.

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The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.

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