Covid sub-variant KP.2 circulating in Odisha since January

The state has reported 20 new Covid cases in last 50 days, 3 active cases as on Friday
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

BHUBANESWAR: KP.2, one of the Omicron sub-variants of novel coronavirus that is now responsible for a new Covid wave in Singapore, was detected early this year in Odisha and led to a slight uptick in new cases in January.

Along with KP.2, the KP.1 sub-variant is also fuelling Covid cases in the island nation. However, not a single case of KP.1 has been detected in the state so far. Both KP.1 and KP.2 are sub-variants of JN1, a variant of Omicron.

As per the sequencing data released by INSACOG, 17 KP.2 cases were found in Odisha and those were among 290 cases documented from 11 states and UTs in the country. Although 34 cases of KP.1 have been found in seven states in the country, it is yet to be detected in Odisha. The highest 36 KP.2 cases and 23 KP.1 cases have been found in West Bengal.

Sources at the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) said the KP.2 sub-variant was detected in samples sourced from different districts across the state between January and March and no fresh cases have been detected.

“We have checked our submitted sequences with the Indian Biological Data Center (IBDC). The sub-variants classified as JN.1 then have been reclassified as KP.1 and KP.2. From there it was found that the number of KP.2 cases detected in Odisha was 17. No new cases of KP.2 have been detected,” said an official of RMRC.

The state had witnessed an uptick in new Covid cases in January, possibly due to JN.1, now reclassified as KP.2 sub-variant. The number of cases came down to zero by February. Health officials said since there was no rise in hospitalisation or no instances of severity in cases then, there is no need to panic now. Mutations will continue to occur in viruses such as SARS-CoV2 and people will have to live with Covid, they said.

Director of public health Dr Nilakanta Mishra said the sub-variant when detected in the state was known as JN.1 and it has now been renamed. “The INSACOG data may have been released recently, but there are no fresh sequenced reports available,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state has reported 20 new Covid cases in last 50 days. The active cases stood at three after recovery of two people till Thursday. On an average 250 samples are being tested a day now.

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The New Indian Express