'Omicron in community transmission stage in India, dominant in multiple metros'

It says BA.2 lineage, an infectious sub-variant of omicron, has been found in a substantial fraction in the country

'Omicron in community transmission stage in India, dominant in multiple metros'

Photo for representation purposes. Tribune

PTI

New Delhi, January 23

The omicron variant of Covid is in the community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros where new cases have been rising exponentially, the INSACOG has said in its latest bulletin.

It said BA.2 lineage, an infectious sub-variant of omicron, has been found in a substantial fraction in the country.

The INSACOG, in its January 10 bulletin that was released on Sunday, said while most omicron cases so far had been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases had increased in the current wave and the threat level remained 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," it said.

S-gene dropout 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," the INSACOG said.

The INSACOG, in its bulletin of January 3 which was also released on Sunday, also said omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in Delhi and Mumbai where new cases have been rising exponentially.

"Further spread of omicron in India is now expected to be through internal transmission, not foreign travellers, 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.

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