Tendulkar’s announcement comes as India experiences a spike in Covid-19 cases.
On Friday, India’s Ministry of Health reported 59,118 new coronavirus cases — the country’s most in a single day since last year.
Many of the cases are in Maharashtra state, which reported more than 36,900 new infections and 112 related deaths Friday. Officials have announced a night curfew starting Sunday.
The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics — which has been carrying out genome sequencing and analysis of coronavirus strains since December — says 771 cases of variants of concern have now been detected in India. Most of the cases are the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK, according to a statement from the Indian Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
While the ministry has not correlated these to the recent rise in cases, the variants have been primarily detected in states such as Punjab and Maharashtra — called states of “grave concern,” given that they are contributing to most of the nation’s case load.
Guleria said the emergence of the more infectious UK variant in some states may be one of the factors contributing to the recent surge in case numbers.
CNN’s Vedika Sud, Jessie Yeung and Esha Mitra contributed to this story.