Omicron BA.4, BA.5 sub-lineages not detected in Delhi yet: Officials

Updated on Jun 19, 2022 03:24 AM IST

Omicron’s sub-lineages BA.2, BA.2.38 and BA.2.10 are currently predominant in the city, scientists said, adding that these sub-lineages of the BA.2 sub-variant, forms of which were responsible for the minor infection uptick in April.

Experts added that these iterations, while more transmissible, did not cause more severe symptoms than those currently dominant in Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
Experts added that these iterations, while more transmissible, did not cause more severe symptoms than those currently dominant in Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

The Capital has not recorded any Covid-19 cases caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, scientists in charge of the city’s genome sequencing programme said amid an infection spike in the city.

Experts added that these iterations, while more transmissible, did not cause more severe symptoms than those currently dominant in Delhi.

Omicron’s sub-lineages BA.2, BA.2.38 and BA.2.10 are currently predominant in the city, scientists said, adding that these sub-lineages of the BA.2 sub-variant, forms of which were responsible for the minor infection uptick in April.

A senior scientist in one of the city’s genome sequencing laboratories said all the Covid-19 samples collected from Delhi till June 5 pre-dominantly had BA.2, BA.2.38 and BA.2.10 sub-lineages.

Officials from the Delhi government’s health department corroborated this and said BA.2, BA.2.38 and BA.2.10 comprised around 50-55% of the infections being reported in the city.

“According to the latest (genome) sequencing report we received from labs, three sub-lineages are dominant. But these are not known to be showing any different symptoms from what we have been seeing since January this year. There is no need to panic,” said a senior health official.

Delhi government data showed that two months ago, during the surge in cases in April, the dominant sub-lineages of Omicron were BA.2.12 and BA.2.10. According to government officials, in the first fortnight, the share of BA.2.12 in the total samples collected was 52% and BA.2.10 comprised 11% of Covid samples in Delhi.

Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the epidemiology and communicable diseases department in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), however, said that the possibility of BA.4 or BA.5 sub-variants being present in Delhi and driving the current rise in cases cannot be ruled out.

“Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants are known to be around 13% more transmissible than the previous BA.1 and BA.2 and are slowly becoming the dominant sub-strains in Europe and US. However, there is no proof of these being more dangerous. Since we have seen cases of BA.4 and BA.5 in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, we could have cases in Delhi as well. Since genome sequencing is a long process, we might get confirmations on the trend two-three weeks from now,” Dr Kant said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • 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.

SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, February 01, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals