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Covid-19 third wave update: Omicron in community transmission stage; variant dominant in Delhi, Mumbai, says INSACOG

It has been confirmed that BA.2 lineage, an infectious sub-variant of Omicron, has been detected in a substantial fraction in the country.

omicron
A total of 1,50,710 samples have been sequenced and 1, 27,697 samples have been analysed so far by INSACOG

Covid-19 Omicron variant in community transmission stage: The Omicron variant of coronavirus has become dominant in multiple metros and is in a community transmission, confirms INSACOG. The cases have also been rising exponentially in various places, said the government body.

Also, it has been confirmed that BA.2 lineage, an infectious sub-variant of Omicron, has been detected in a substantial fraction in the country.

The INSACOG, in its January 10 bulletin released on Sunday, said while most of the Omicron cases so far have been mild or asymptomatic, ICU and hospitalisation cases have also increased. Howwever, the threat level still remains unchanged.

“Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially. BA.2 lineage is in a substantial fraction in India and S gene dropout based screening is thus likely to give high false negatives,” INSACOG was quoted as saying in the PTI.

Also Read: Covid-19 Omicron India January 22 Highlights: Situation grim in Pune as positivity rate skyrockets to 41%

The recently detected S-gene drop-out is a genetic variation like that of Omicron. “The recently reported B.1.640.2 lineage is being monitored. There is no evidence of rapid spread and while it has features of immune escape, it is currently not a variant of concern. So far, no case has been detected in India,” INSACOG noted.

The INSACOG further stated Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai where new Covid-19 cases have been rising substantially.

“Further spread of Omicron in India is now expected to be through internal transmission, not foreign travelers, and a revised sampling and sequencing strategy of INSACOG is being worked out to address genomic surveillance objectives in the wake of dynamic changing scenario of virus infection,” the INSACOG said.

“COVID appropriate behavior and vaccination are main shields against all form mutations of SARSCoV-2 virus,” it further added.

What is INSACOG?

The INSACOG, that comes under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, reports genomic surveillance of SARS CoV-2 across the country with the help of sequencing of samples from sentinel sites. It also brings detailed state-wise district analysis for some states of the country.

A total of 1,50,710 samples have been sequenced and 1, 27,697 samples have been analysed so far by INSACOG.

Also Read: Two doses of Sputnik provide two times higher antibodies against Omicron than Pfizer vaccine: Study

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