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Thursday, July 07, 2022

New Omicron sub-lineages detected in Bengaluru, BA.2 continues to be dominant Covid strain in Karnataka

A recent sewage surveillance report had also shown the presence of BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Omicron in Bengaluru.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
June 23, 2022 2:35:19 pm
Omicron's sub-lineage BA.2 continues to be the dominant strain in Karnataka. (Reuters)

According to a June 21 report of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), 44 samples from Bengaluru sent for genome sequencing between June 2 and June 9 were found to be infected with BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Covid variant Omicron.

This development comes after a recent sewage surveillance report had also shown the presence of BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Omicron in the city. On the advice of the Covid technical advisory committee (TAC), the health department on June 7 set up a sewage surveillance appraisal committee headed by the committee’s chairman M K Sudarshan.

Meanwhile, Omicron’s sub-lineage BA.2 continues to be the dominant strain in Karnataka. According to genome sequencing data shared by Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K on Twitter Wednesday, 99.20 per cent of all samples sequenced in the May-June period (2198 of 2215) showed Omicron’s presence, of which BA.2 accounted for 89.40 per cent (1,964).

Delta was the dominant strain in the state between March and December 2021, accounting for 90.70 per cent of the samples sequenced while Omicron took over as the leading strain from the beginning of this year as 87.80 per cent of the samples sequenced between January and April showed its presence, according to the chart shared by the minister. Since last March, 12,755 samples have been sequenced in the state, it showed.

“BA1.1.529 and BA1 have dipped to 8.60% and 0.04% respectively… BA2 has increased from 80.60% to 89.40% since May 2022…” he tweeted.

The minister said that new variants BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5 are observed to be in their nascent phases.

Meanwhile, health commissioner Randeep D said: “We will increase the surveillance and will wait for the further guidelines from the TAC. The primary and secondary contacts of the positive persons in clusters will be tested.”

The TAC members are of the opinion that with the increase in the number of cases they would recommend the state government to impose fines on those found to be not wearing masks in public places. Earlier this month the government mandated the wearing of masks in public places though there was no penalty for the offenders.

25 Covid clusters within BBMP limits

According to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), there are 27 Covid clusters within its limits with 25 in the Mahadevapura zone, three in RR Nagar zone and one in Yelahanka zone. The clusters are being reported from apartments/villas in Mahadevapura zone.

“The samples whose cycle threshold (CT) value is less than 25 will be sent to the lab for genome sequencing. Those found to be infected are isolated. Most of the cases are asymptomatic. People should not panic and adhere to Covid appropriate behaviour,” a BBMP official said.

The BBMP Covid war room data as of June 23 stated there are 51 cases of hospitalisations due to Covid across government and private hospitals.

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On June 22, the health department said that Karnataka registered 676 new Covid cases of which 626 are in Bengaluru. The number of recoveries was 804.

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