New Delhi, January 23
Even as the Omicron-induced third Covid wave peaks in metros, including New Delhi and Mumbai, India’s apex body of genome sequencing labs has warned against laxity saying the threat perception from the ‘variant of concern’ remained unchanged.
In its weekly analysis of the level of infection, the INSACOG (Indian Sars Cov 2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium) said Omicron was now in community transmission stage in the country and had become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases had been rising exponentially. Also, a new modelling by IIT-Madras on the current Omicron surge has concluded that the third wave could peak in a fortnight. Government sources had earlier assessed that the daily new cases of the current surge would cross the peak of the second wave, which was 4.40 lakh new cases as seen on May 7, 2021.
IIT researchers found that R-naught, the basic reproduction number of the virus, had fallen to 1.57 in indications of slightly slowing transmission. Already, metros like Delhi and Mumbai are reporting slow fall in new cases after hitting a peak.
In worrisome news, the INSACOG noted that BA.2 lineage of Omicron variant was a substantial fraction in India and S Gene dropout-based screening was likely to give high false negatives.
The UK Health Security Agency recently designated BA.2 a sub-lineage of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of concern and said it was under investigation and appeared to have a growth advantage.
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ACTIVE CASES 21,87,205
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