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New Omicron Variants Not Causing Spike Or Mortality Of Cases

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New Delhi [india]: The Union Health Ministry on Monday said that sequencing of samples from Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) sentinel sites have referred that all the omicron variants like BA.2 and its sub-lineages including BA.2.75, XBB (37), BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 (5) are present in India but none of them has caused a rise in mortality nor rise in transmission in the areas where these variants were detected.

The Health Ministry further stated that between December 29 and January 7 Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP), sentinel sites referred 324 Covid-19 positive samples for sequencing to 22 INSACOG labs. “Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) sentinel sites referred 324 COVID19 positive samples for sequencing to 22 INSACOG labs.

Sentinel sequencing of these positive samples lifted from the community revealed the presence of all the omicron variants like BA.2 and its sub-lineages including BA.2.75, XBB (37), BQ.1 & BQ.1.1 (5), etc. No mortality or rise in transmission was reported in the areas where these variants were detected,” the Ministry said.

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has initiated random testing of international travellers arriving at various Airports from December 24, 2022.

Since then, 13,57,243 international passengers have arrived in India from 7786 flights at various airports out of which 29,113 randomly selected RT-PCR tested passengers.

A total of 183 samples were found positive which were subsequently sent for whole genome sequencing to 13 INSACOG labs. Sequencing of 50 samples revealed omicron and omicron sub-lineages including recombinant variants.

XBB (11), BQ.1.1 (12) and BF7.4.1 (1) were the main variants detected in these samples of international passengers.

The Ministry is also closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in various States through the IDSP network, particularly on the transmission and hospitalization trends.

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