Govt survey reveals presence of all Omicron variants in air, but no rise in mortality


eMediNexus    10 January 2023

A community-based surveillance program run by the government stated that all Omicron variants, from BA.2 and XBB through BQ.1, and their corresponding sub-lineages, have been identified and were in circulation throughout the country. The surveillance report indicates that these variants, have not resulted in a rise in Covid-19 mortality or transmission.


Whole genome sequencing of 324 Covid-19 positive samples referred from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) was included in the survey. According to the health ministry, the Omicron variants were present in all 324 positive samples. However, no mortality or increase in transmission was noted in the locations where these variants were found. Beginning on December 24 last year, the ministry started randomly testing visitors from other countries arriving at various airports. Since then, the government reported over 13.6 lakh foreign travelers had entered India from 7786 planes at multiple airports. Of these travelers, 29,113 were randomly chosen travellers who underwent RT-PCR testing.


A total of 183 samples had tested positive and were forwarded for whole genome sequencing. The three primary variants identified in these samples of international passengers were XBB (11), BQ.1.1 (12), and BF7.4.1 (1). The sequencing of 50 samples identified recombinant variant and Omicron and Omicron sub-lineages.


Dr. N. K. Arora, the co-chair of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), stated that tests on sewage samples are routinely conducted and that the trends to date do not indicate an increase in cases. He advised people not to panic over discovering newer sub-lineages of Omicron but rather to take the necessary precautions.


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/all-omicron-variants-in-air-but-no-rise-in-mortality-govt-survey/96868030)

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