Omicron subvariant BQ.1: India reports first case in Pune; Experts say it’s ‘dangerous’ | The Financial Express

Omicron subvariant BQ.1: India reports first case in Pune; Experts say it’s ‘dangerous’

Omicron BQ.1: India Detected first case of Omicron subvariant BQ.1 in Pune. Experts have pointed out that BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are dangerous.

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The Duke Clinical Research Institute is supervising the study, which is scheduled to start on January 1. (File)

India’s 1st Case of  Omicron subvariant BQ.1: India has reported the first case of fast spreading and ‘highly infectious’ Omicron subvariant. On Monday, health authorities of Maharashtra said that BQ.1 has been detected during the genome sequencing of a resident’s sample from Pune.

According to reports, State surveillance officer Pradeep Awate cited the detection and added that high-risk patients should follow precautions.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that new subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are the descendants of BA.5 which is a subvariant of Omicron. The BA.5 accounts for over 60 percent of cases in the United States its effect and now its relatives are becoming active. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), It was first detected in Botswana and has spread to become the predominant variant in circulation around the world.

According to the data released by the state authorities, Covid-19 cases increased by 17.7% in Maharashtra over the week that ended on October 16.

Experts have pointed out that BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are dangerous as they could evade the interventions available against COVID-19. It is noteworthy that they have caused over 10 percent of all active cases in the US.

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“Yes, there has been news about this highly infectious omicron variant but we know very little about this variant. We will have to wait and look at how it behaves in terms of severity so best keep a close watch take precautions and go on our routine,” Dr. Vasant Nagvekar, Co-director of Infectious Disease at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital told Financial

Last week, CDC stated that within a month BQ.1 and a descendant BQ.1.1 are spreading at an alarmingly rate making up more than 10 percent of new infections across the United States.

“When you get variants like that, you look at what their rate of increase is as a relative proportion of the variants, and this has a pretty troublesome doubling time,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview to a news channel.

BQ.1 was named last month on the basis of genome sequencing across the United States and several other countries where its cases were detected.

“While BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. represent a small but fast-growing subset of the Omicron variant, BA.5 remains the dominant lineage in the United States,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in a statement. Moreover, Dr. Fauci has warned about emerging new variants and to “keep our eyes out” for them.

According to the Union Health Ministry, India reported 1,542 new coronavirus infections and eight Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours across the country. The data reveals that This is the lowest single-day infection rate for the country in 182 days. The total number of cases in India stands at 4,46,32,430.

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First published on: 18-10-2022 at 11:54 IST