15 BA.5 cases logged in 2 hospitals; Capital adds 813 Covid-19 infections

Published on Jul 02, 2022 04:42 AM IST
  • The BA.5 is overtaking other Omicron lineage coronaviruses in several parts of the world, reinforcing early signs that it has a growth advantage after having triggered new waves in some regions.
Covid-19 numbers in  the capital have either maintained a level in the low thousands or have dropped of late.. (Sakib Ali /HT)
Covid-19 numbers in  the capital have either maintained a level in the low thousands or have dropped of late.. (Sakib Ali /HT)
By, New Delhi

Two hospitals in Delhi, among the largest genome sequencing labs for the Sars-CoV-2 in the national capital, have found at least 15 samples that were of the BA.5 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, experts from these institutions told HT.

The BA.5 is overtaking other Omicron lineage coronaviruses in several parts of the world, reinforcing early signs that it has a growth advantage after having triggered new waves in some regions. Officials reported last week that the first of BA.5 samples had been found in Delhi. The variant had already been found in a large number of samples in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, but none of these regions have a particularly concerning outbreak in terms of scale or severity till now.

Dr Ekta Gupta, professor of clinical virology at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), said, “At ILBS, we have reported seven-eight cases of BA.5 so far. This is out of the samples we received from across the city.”

Also Read | Patients in Delhi who tested positive for BA.5 did not have severe symptoms

A senior scientist at Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), requesting anonymity, said their labs confirmed seven cases of BA.5 till June 30.

The first cases, for which a number was not immediately available, were reported from patients at Lok Nayak Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and ILBS.

Senior officials of the Delhi government’s health department said that they are conducting regular meetings with districts to assess if clusters of BA.5 are being reported in the city.

“We are keeping a close watch. The numbers seem to be on a declining trend and we have been told that this new sub-variant could have triggered the spike that we saw. But we are not in a position to clarify any details,” said a senior health official.

Covid numbers in the city have either maintained a level in the low thousands or have dropped of late. According to the Delhi government’s health bulletin released on Friday, Delhi reported 813 new Covid-19 cases, as opposed to 865 cases on Thursday. But Friday’s number was also likely biased by the fewer number of tests – 15,339, compared to 19,435 the day before.

Three Covid deaths were also reported on Friday.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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