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Business News/ News / World/  Omicron variant XBB makes up 63% of covid cases reported in India
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Omicron variant XBB makes up 63% of covid cases reported in India

India on Tuesday reported 134 new coronavirus infections and no deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the health ministry.

The country’s active caseload currently stands at 2,582 cases, with total reported cases since the pandemic hit in 2020 at 44.6 million and the toll at 530,707. (HT)Premium
The country’s active caseload currently stands at 2,582 cases, with total reported cases since the pandemic hit in 2020 at 44.6 million and the toll at 530,707. (HT)

NEW DELHI : Protected by herd immunity and early vaccination, Indians appear to have escaped the havoc being wreaked by the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant in China and some other countries.

At the moment, the most prevalent variant in India is the XBB, accounting for 63.2% of cases, according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG).

Only four cases of BF.7 have been reported in the country, INSACOG scientists said in their latest bulletin, adding that BA.2.75 and BA.2.10 were also circulating but in smaller numbers. BA.2.75 is the prevalent sub lineage in North-eastern India.

INSACOG, a consortium of 54 laboratories to monitor genomic variations in the covid-19 virus, said around 303,367 covid-19 positive samples have been sequenced so far.

“Omicron and its sub-lineages continue to be the dominant variant in India. Overall, the infection rate is below 500 per day. In northern part of India, XBB was prevalent whereas in the eastern part, BA.2.75 was the prevalent sub lineages. BA.2.10 and other Omicron sub lineage frequency was lower in last week. However, any increase in disease severity or hospitalization has not been observed over this period," said the bulletin.

The country has reported different distributions of ‘Variants of Concern’ such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and the Omicron series since the onset of the pandemic. Scientists say that more than 600 sub-lineages of Omicron are circulating in India.

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“At this time there is no indication that it causes more severe disease. According to the INSACOG analsyes, 60% genomes belong to the XBB. The next prominent sublineage is BA.2.75 and BA.2.10. However, this ratio might change when more samples are analyzed. Continued genomic analysis of clusters of cases with unusual symptoms or features is the way to keep track of any phenotypical changes that might emerge and this could occur anywhere in the world," said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman, National IMA Covid-19 Task Force.

“China has a virgin population — they have not received the natural waves of infection. Neither is their population fully vaccinated. While India has gone through three different waves of infection, China went through only one covid wave which got contained in Wuhan in 2020. And therefore, Omicron’s BF.7 has taken a bad shape in China and not in India."

India on Tuesday reported 134 new coronavirus infections and no deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the health ministry. The country’s active caseload currently stands at 2,582 cases, with total reported cases since the pandemic hit in 2020 at 44.6 million and the toll at 530,707.

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Published: 03 Jan 2023, 11:03 PM IST
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