Indian vaccine works against BF.7 sub-variant: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya did not specify which Covid vaccine works against the BF.7 sub-variant.

Published: 12th January 2023 01:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2023 01:32 AM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. (Photo | Shamim Qureshy)

Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya. (Photo | Shamim Qureshy)

By Express News Service

New Delhi, Jan 11: Indian vaccine works against Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is driving the Covid-19 surge in China and other East Asian countries, said Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday.

“Our vaccine works against BF.7, which has been detected in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other places,” said Mandaviya on the sidelines of a book release ‘Braving a viral storm – India's Covid-19 vaccine story.’

The minister, however, did not specify which Covid vaccine works against the BF.7 sub-variant.

He said India had taken several proactive actions, including conducting Covid testing at all the Indian airports.

Till Wednesday, over 15 lakh international passengers travelling in a total of 8,700 flights have been tested following the health ministry's directive to conduct random testing of two per cent of international travellers, he said.

Out of these, over 200 passengers were found to be Covid positive. “They were immediately sent to the hospital, isolated, and their samples were sent for genome sequencing. Genome sequencing found the presence of the BF.7 variant, found in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other places.”

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He said BF.7 – which had last year driven the Covid surge in the US and Europe - is already present in India for the previous three months. 

In future, if there is any new Covid variant, or if the current one mutates and takes a new form, then we will be ready, and that's why we are carrying out genome sequencing, he said. 

“We are also alert against any new variant entering India. We are ready because of our Covid management. We are taking all precautions and keeping surveillance.” 

The minister said that India has 200 types of Covid variants. "We are satisfied that no new type of variant is in India at the moment,” he added.

The ministry said that despite all Omicron variants in India, no mortality or rise in the transmission had been reported.

From January 1, passengers arriving from hotspots countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand are mandatorily required to provide Covid-negative reports. It applies to those travellers who are transiting through these hot-spots countries.

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