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4 cases of BA.4, 3 of BA.5 Omicron sub-variants detected in Maharashtra

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, May 28: Maharashtra has detected four infections caused by the BA.4 sub-strain of Omicron coronavirus variant, and three cases of BA.5 sub-strain for the first time.

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These sub-lineages of Omicron were found in April in some parts of the world including South Africa, but until now no cases had been detected in the state.

"The whole genome sequencing was conducted by the Institute of Science Education and Research, and its finding has been confirmed by the Indian Biological Data Centre in Faridabad. As many as seven patients, all from Pune, were detected with the infection of the sub-lineage of Omicron," the official said.

"Four patients have the infection of B.A. 4 variant while others have contracted the B.A. 5. Four of them are men and three women. Four patients are above 50 years of age while two are in 20-40 age group while one patient is a nine-year-old child," he added.

"All the six adults have completed both the dosages of vaccine while one has taken the booster shot too. The child is unvaccinated. All of them had mild symptoms of COVID-19 and were treated successfully in home isolation," the official said.

Their samples were taken between May 4 and 18. Two of them had travelled to South Africa and Belgium, while three had travelled to Kerala and Karnataka.

The other two patients had no recent travel history, he said.

Since January, the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron have been associated with the fifth Covid wave in South Africa, a fresh wave of infections in the US and Europe.

Know more about BA.4 Omicron Variant

The BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron were first reported by South African health officials in January and February, respectively. Since then, both the variants have been largely responsible for triggering a fresh wave of Covid surges in South Africa, Portugal, Germany, the U.K., the U.S., Denmark, France, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, and Switzerland.

The new Omicron variants (BA4 and BA5) have replaced the BA2 variant of the Omicron, which was the active circulating virus in many countries. At present, the BA2 variant is the dominant strain in Telangana and other Indian States. Senior health officials here have said that the impact of the BA4 variant could be only felt in a couple of weeks when they will be able to understand its growth advantage when compared to the BA2 variant of the Omicron.

How deadly is Omicron sub-variant BA.4?

As per the National Centre for Disease Control, it is highly unlikely that there will be a jump in COVID cases in the coming days due to BA.4 variant. It further added that it is also unlikely that the number of hospitalizations will increase rapidly due to Omicron BA.4 variant.

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