The researchers noted that the COVID-19 virus is capable of infecting many animal species -- which is one of the main reasons why variants keep emerging.
The variant, BA.188.8.131.52 or BF.7 for short, is a spinoff of the Omicron subvariant BA.5, which is currently the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in the US and other countries.
Precautionary dose has few takers in all age groups in the city
Dr Sudhakar revealed that BA.5 was confirmed in 38 samples, BA.4 in four samples and BA.3 in two samples.
The rise, though gradual, in Covid-19 cases in Telangana is still being driven by the BA.2, a sub-variant of Omicron.
INSACOG also said none of those variants has shown either increased transmission, locally or otherwise, nor were they associated with severe disease or hospitalisation.
A 21-year-old from Kollam is suspected to have been infected with Covid XE, the mutant variant of the novel coronavirus, trigerring worries.
Two new SARS-CoV-2 mutants, BA.2.10 and BA.2.12, related to the Omicron sub-variant BA.2, have been found in Bengaluru, by INSACOG attached labs.
“The Tamil Nadu government is cautious about the new variant of Omicron XE but prepared to face any eventuality,” Health Minister Ma Subramanian said on Tuesday.
Anxiety among citizens after new strain reportedly found in Mumbai
Director of Institute of Life Sciences Dr Ajay Parida said the State government has been asked to send all positive samples for sequencing.
The UK Health Security Agency is studying XE, a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains and as of March 22, 637 XE cases had been detected in England, according to official figures.
However, Dr Jacob John, former professor at CMC Vellore, and renowned virologist, says the chance of another variant in India is highly unlikely.
China reported another 397 cases of local transmission nationwide on Friday, 98 of them in Jilin province that surrounds Changchun.
The South African variant is considered among the more dangerous of current mutations because it evades some of the blocking action of antibodies that target the older coronavirus strain.