Explained: What is the new variant of COVID-19 which India detected
New Delhi, May 23: The INSACOG has confirmed the presence of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants of the coronavirus in India -- one case in Tamil Nadu and another in Telangana.
BA.4 and BA.5 are sub-variants of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
In a statement on Sunday, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) said a 19-year-old woman in Tamil Nadu has been found infected with the BA.4 sub-variant of the virus.
The patient has shown only mild clinical symptoms and has been fully vaccinated. She had no travel history.
Earlier, a South African national was reported positive for the BA.4 sub-variant of Omicron on arrival at the Hyderabad airport.
In another case, an 80-year-old man in Telangana has tested positive for the BA.5 sub-variant of the virus. He has shown only mild clinical symptoms and has been fully vaccinated. The patient had no travel history.
"Contact tracing of the BA.4 and BA.5 patients is being undertaken as a precautionary measure," the INSACOG said.
BA.4 and BA.5 are sub-variants of the Omicron variant circulating globally. These were first reported from South Africa earlier this year and are now being reported from several other countries.
The INSACOG said these sub-variants have not been associated with disease severity or increased hospitalisation.