New Omicron mutant might be causing Delhi's Covid surge

New Omicron sub-lineages could be driving the current surge of Covid-19 cases in Delhi and surrounding areas, official sources said on Thursday. 

Published: 22nd April 2022 07:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2022 07:24 AM   |  A+A-

COVID-19. Coronavirus, Delhi COVID

Representational image (Photo| PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  New Omicron sub-lineages could be driving the current surge of Covid-19 cases in Delhi and surrounding areas, official sources said on Thursday.  Genomic sequencing has shown the presence of eight subtypes of Omicron, including BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, a subvariant called BA.2, which is spreading in the US. The sources said these new subtypes were detected in over 60 samples sequenced from Delhi in the first fortnight of April. 

It could have caused a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The Delhi government had sent all samples to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) to determine if a new variant was causing the spread of infection. Eight variants of Omicron emerged, including BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, the two variants closely related to the BA.2, a version of Omicron which has propelled surges across Europe and the US. 

Sources said they are ascertaining which sub-types are the dominant ones,  causing the spike in Covid cases in the national capital. Genome sequencing of 578 samples from January to March had shown that 97 per cent of cases were Omicron while only two per cent were the Delta strain responsible for many deaths in 2021. 

A more transmissible subvariant, BA.2, accounts for around three-quarters of US cases. BA.2 has produced its sublineage, BA.2.12.1, which is more contagious. But in most cases in Delhi, patients showed mild to moderate symptoms.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to declare it as a variant of concern. It has been said that the BA.2 sub-variant is more transmissible than the original BA.1 strain.
According to the health ministry, 2,380 new cases were reported on Thursday, while active cases went up to 13,433.

Free booster dose in Delhi       
The Delhi government has announced free booster doses to beneficiaries in the 18-59 age-group at its vaccination centres. The health department’s announcement came a day after fresh cases crossed 1,000 after two months. Necessary changes had been made in Co-WIN portal for Delhi wherein both “online appointment and walk-in will be available”, the order said. 

EUA suggested for Corbevax      
An expert panel of India’s top drug authority has recommended granting emergency use authori-sation for Biological E’s Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax for the 5-11 age group, sources said. the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has, however, sought more data from Bharat Biotech to review its EUA application for 2-11 group Covaxin use.


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