New Covid wave possibly looming near

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Covid new wave
Quickly rising cases daily raises major risk (Image: Photo by cottonbro, Pexels)

One of the variants, BA.2.12.1, belonging to the Omicron strain, was detected in 60% of the overall samples tested in the heart of the nation, Delhi. As per Business Standard analysis, 233 districts out of 727 districts have reported a spike in covid cases between 16 April and 19 April.

Sars-CoV-2 virus’s new mutant variant that triggers Covid-19 has been found in the NCR (National Capital Region), as per the official sources. Out of the overall samples tested in the state, BA.2.12.1 was detected in 60% of people.

Most of the samples that were sequenced from Delhi in the 1st two weeks of this month have showcased the presence of the Omicron sub-lineage, BA.2.12.1 variant. As per INSACOG (Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium), BA.2.12.1 has been detected in some samples that were sequenced in the state.

Omicron’s nature

According to Dr. C Srinivasa Raju, IMA AP President in a statement that was published in The New India Express said that every Omicron possesses its unique set of mutations. One of the most common ones was BA.1, which spread very quickly. It was the same variant that was responsible for the recording-breaking hike in covid cases in the last winter, which was termed as the third wave. 

Epidemiologists doubt that BA.2 will trigger a massive spike in cases. 

BA.2.12.1 – A new variant of the Omicron strain

Sources said that BA.2.12.1 variant might be the potential factor to trigger the recent covid cases in the NCR. This variant has a high potential to cause re-infection and is very transmissive.

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According to official sources, the latest sub-variants BA.2.12 (52% samples) and BA.2.10 (11% samples) are putting on high transmission and are found in over 60% of the samples that were recently sequenced from Delhi. 

As per the data given in the Business Standard, the BA.2.12 variant looks like it has a growth advantage of about 30% to 90% every week over BA.2 (Omicron). 

More than 300 samples were genome sequences in Delhi in the 1st fortnight. Also, the same sub-variants, more or less, are found in the samples that were sequenced in the neighboring districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The director of NCDC (National Centre for Disease Control), Sujeet Kumar Singh, confirmed the finding of the virus’s variant in Delhi.

The INSACOG project is being led by NCDC. Recently, the sub-lineages BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.12 were identified by the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control). BA.2.12 is Omicron BA.2’s sub-variant.

The rise in Covid cases

There has been a spike in the Covid cases in the country. As per the data of the Union Health Ministry, as of 21st April, in the last 24 hours, about 2380 fresh Covid-19 cases were found.

Out of the total 727 districts, 233 districts across India have reported a spike in the Covid positivity rate.

The XE variant

As per the news published in the Business Standard, The BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) is writing to a Central institute looking for clarity on the sample’s lineage, which was concluded by the civic body that marked it as a XE variant. On 6 April, it was said by the BMC that one lady from South Africa had been infected with the same variant. But after a few hours, the claim was dismissed by the Union Health Ministry.

Later, the sequencing data was sent by the BMC to the NIBMG (National Institute of Biomedical Genomics), and at present, an analysis shows that the variant mentioned above is a combination of BA.2 and BA.1. 

Another man from Gujarat who tested positive for the XE variant has gone to Mumbai. However, none of his contacts have tested positive for the same. XE is supposed to be more transmissive compared to the Omicron variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

The Union Health secretary on 19 April, informed in a letter to the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Mizoram, and Maharashtra about the rise in covid positive cases. These states were urged by the UHM (Union Health Ministry) to monitor the infection’s spread and take corrective actions wherever needed.

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