Home / News / India /  Maharashtra: Four cases of BA.4, three of BA.5 Omicron sub-variants detected
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Maharashtra has detected four infections caused by the BA.4 sub-strain of Omicron coronavirus variant, and three cases of BA.5 sub-strain, reported news agency PTI, quoting an official from the state health department, on Saturday. 

All the patients had mild symptoms of Covid-19 and were treated successfully in home isolation, according to the official. 

“The whole genome sequencing was conducted by the Institute of Science Education and Research, and its finding has been confirmed by the Indian Biological Data Centre in Faridabad. As many as seven patients, all from Pune, were detected with the infection of the sub-lineage of Omicron," the official said.

“Four patients have the infection of B.A. 4 variant while others have contracted the B.A. 5. Four of them are men and three women. Four patients are above 50 years of age while two are in 20-40 age group while one patient is a nine-year-old child," he added.

All six adults have been vaccinated with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine while one has taken the booster shot too. The child is unvaccinated.

Their samples were taken between 4 and 18 May. Two of them had travelled to South Africa and Belgium, while three had travelled to Kerala and Karnataka. The other two patients had no recent travel history.

This comes days after the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) confirmed the presence of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants in India. 

In a statement issued last week, said a 19-year-old woman in Tamil Nadu had been found infected with the BA.4 sub-variant of the virus. The patient showed only mild clinical symptoms and was fully vaccinated. She had no travel history.

Earlier, a South African national was reported positive for the BA.4 sub-variant of Omicron on arrival at the Hyderabad airport.

In another case, an 80-year-old man in Telangana tested positive for the BA.5 sub-variant of the virus. He showed only mild clinical symptoms and was fully vaccinated. He had no travel history as well. 

Following this, the health authorities intensified contact tracing, said National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chairman Dr NK Arora.

Meanwhile, experts have also said that these newly-detected sub-lineages will not cause a surge in infections but people still need to be vigilant.

"The sub-variants of Omicron (BA.4 and BA.5) are not going to cause a surge in cases, still, we need to be vigilant. You know that Omicron took off at a much higher rate in many countries, including India, but South Africa's experiences reassure us that these two sub-lineages are not going to cause a large scale problem if we are careful enough," said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman of the Indian Medical Association's national task force. 


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