COVID-19: India’s first case of Omicron subvariant BA.4 detected in Hyderabad
This strain of coronavirus, like BA.2 subvariant, has been found capable of immune evasion from past infection and vaccination
India's first case of BA.4 subvariant of the Omicron strain of coronavirus was detected in Hyderabad through a genomic surveillance program on Thursday.
Scientists associated with the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) said that from India, details of BA.4 subvariant were entered on GISAID, a global science initiative that provides open access to genomic data of influenza viruses and the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, on 9 May, Moneycontrol reported.
A scientist associated with the Indian Council for Medical Research told Moneycontrol that it's possible that random cases of BA.4 may have also been detected in other cities in the country over the last few days.
According to Mint, the patient is a foreign national who tested positive upon arrival at Hyderabad airport. The samples were later sent for genome sequencing.
This strain of coronavirus, like BA.2 subvariant, has been found capable of immune evasion from past infection and vaccination.
The subvariant is behind the spike in cases in countries like South Africa, UK and US.
Experts, however, said that the strain is unlikely to cause a surge in hospitalisation in India, Moneycontrol reported.
Scientists told Moneycontrol that given the extensive immunity in the Indian population due to the Omicron wave that hit India in January this year, a new COVID-19 surge-if any-is most likely to stay at low levels.
With inputs from agencies
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