CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu reported the first case of BA.4 sub-variant of Omicron, which reportedly led to a surge in Covid 19 cases in some European countries and a reason for the fifth wave in South Africa. The first case of BA.4 Sub variant of Omicron in India was reported in Telangana recently, and this will be the second case in the Country.
Speaking to reporters at the King Institute in Guindy, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said, the initial report showed that the sub-variant was detected in a family cluster at Navalur in Chengalpattu district.
They had no travel history.
He also said that there is no need to panic and that the Health Department is continuously monitoring the cases. The samples were mobilised at the State Whole Genome Sequencing Lab and sent to National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) at Nagpur. However, it will be reconfirmed by the Union Health Ministry.
Among four family members, father, mother, daughter and grandmother, the mother (45) and the daughter (19) had developed mild flu-like illness on May 4. They voluntarily got tested at a private lab and the
samples came back positive for Covid-19. Since it was a family cluster, the samples were sent for whole genome sequencing, according to the statement from the Health Department.
The result of WGS was obtained on 19 May, which showed that the mother has infected with BA. 2 subvariant of Omicron and the daughter with BA. 4 subvariant, Subramanian said.
The Health Minister further said that the mother and daughter were fully vaccinated, and no new cases were reported. They recovered in a few days and resumed their regular activities.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan who inspected the area and met the family said, they are doing fine. It is important to get vaccinated to be protected from any variant. People also should continue to follow
Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, the data from the Health Department showed that in May 82 % of samples tested showed BA. 2 variant of Omicron, 7% BA.3 variant, 4% are BA.2 10 variant, and BA. 4 are 0.7 %.
A total of 3,328 samples were taken from January to May and sent for Whole Genome Sequencing at the State Public Health Lab on the DMS campus, of which 96 % belonged to Omicron only. BA. 2 reported in 73 % of
samples, also BA. 1 was reported in some samples, the data showed.
Also, samples taken from IIT Madras and Sri Sathya Sai Medical College clusters tested positive for BA. 2 variant of Omicron only, the statement said.