Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75 detected in India; no variant of concern detected yet: Health Ministry official

Abhishek Law | | Updated on: Jul 12, 2022
India on July 12 recorded 13,615 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours and 20 new fatalities

India on July 12 recorded 13,615 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours and 20 new fatalities | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

BA.2.75 has not yet caused a significant increase in infections here, say official

Several Omicron offspring have been detected in India and are being classified, a senior official of the Union Health Ministry said. Among those detected is the BA.2.75 sub-lineage, which has come in for much global attention.

Sewer studies and genome sequencing have not yet revealed “any variant of concern,” and there is no empirical data to link the BA.2.75 sub vairiant to increase in infections here either, the official told BusinessLine.

No cluster or region

Officials have “also not found” any particular cluster or region or district where a spike in infection has been reported, nor have they found any spike in infections attributable to a particular sub-variant. While classification of the sub-variants was on, the Union Health Ministry is yet to determine “if any of the particular sub-variants have caused an increase in cases”.

The BA.2.75 sub variant of the Omicron virus has generated a global buzz among scientists who have flagged it off as being more contagious with the potential to escape both previous immunity. BA.2.75 has nine mutations in the spike protein—seven of which are unique to it. Of these mutations, there are two that are concerning.

According to the official, despite the presence of BA.2.75,it is “not severe enough at the moment to cause any serious increase in infections”.

“The new sub-variant(s) has not led to any major increase or expansion of the case pool. Nor are hospitalisations up. These cases are all spread out. Scientists would be worried if they were occurring in one or two districts. It is happening in a scattered manner. So, it’s not something that is either spreading too fast or causing too many severe cases,” the official pointed out.

Data has so far revealed that the BA.2 variant of Omicron continues to be the “dominant variant”, accounting for close to 90 per cent of the breakthrough infections.

On the other hand, some of the other sub-variants like BA.3, BA.4 and also BA.5 variants have also been reported in India, but they are around “10–12 per cent of the total infections”.

‘No new variants’

“So far we have not found any new variants of concern. Nor are there clusters that are reporting an increase in a particular strain of the virus. However, we have seen many new sub-variants, which include the BA 2.75 variants, being reported,” the official said.

Meanwhile, India on July 12 recorded 13,615 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while there were 20 new fatalities. Active cases rose by 330 and comprise 0.30 per cent of the total infections,Union Health Ministry data said. The recovery rate was 98.50 per cent.

Published on July 12, 2022
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