Updated: January 25, 2022 7:00:57 am
The sequencing of the eighth batch of samples from the city shows that the highly transmissible variant Omicron has now become the most dominant strain of the Covid-19 virus in the city compared to December, when the Delta variant was the dominant strain.
Of the 280 samples sequenced from Mumbai in the eighth genome sequencing, 248 or 89% showed the presence of Omicron. Out of the remaining, 21 or 8% had Delta derivatives. The remaining 11 samples or 3% had other subtypes.
This is in sharp contrast to the seventh genome sequencing conducted in the last week of December 2021. Of 282 samples sequenced then, 156 samples (55%) were detected with Omicron variant, followed by 89 samples (32%) with Delta derivatives and 37 (13%) with the Delta variant. In the sixth genome sequencing, conducted in the second week of December last year, only 2% of samples had the Omicron variant.
Best of Express Premium
“This explains the reason behind the spike in cases by the end of December last year. As Omicron doesn’t involve the lungs, we are witnessing very few cases of pulmonary pneumonia, which was high in the second wave when Delta variant was predominant in Mumbai,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
According to data from BMC, of the 280 samples, 96 or 34% were of patients in the age group of 21-40, 79 or 28% are in the 41-60 age group, and 69 or 25% in the 61-80 age group. A total of 76 of 99 unvaccinated patients have had to be hospitalised, 12 required oxygen and five were in the ICU.
INSACOG — a consortium of India’s SARS-CoV-2 Genomics – last week declared that Omicron is in its community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in several metros.
While confirming community transmission of Omicron, Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Covid-19 task force, said, “Considering the global pattern, it was expected that Omicron will gradually dominate over Delta variants. But it shouldn’t be taken lightly and people shouldn’t put their guard down. Although the severity is less in Omicron, people with underlying health issues need to be extra cautious.”
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.