New COVID Omicron Sub-Variant Found In India

COVID, COVID19, Omicron
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Geneva: A new sub-variant BA.2.75 of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in various countries including India, World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Ghebreyesus said that the world body was following the development.

“On COVID-19, globally reported cases have increased nearly 30% over the past two weeks. Four out of six of the WHO sub-regions saw cases increase in the last week,” Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

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  • “In Europe and America, BA.4 and BA.5 are driving waves. In countries like India a new sub-lineage of BA.2.75 has also been detected, which we’re following,” the WHO chief said.
  • WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that there has been an emergence of a sub-variant that is being called the BA.2.75. “First reported from India and then from about 10 other countries,” she said.
  • “There are still limited sequences available of the sub-variant to analyse, but this sub-variant seems to have a few mutations on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein. So obviously, that’s a key part of the virus that attaches itself to the human receptor. So we have to watch that. It’s still too early to know if this sub-variant has properties of additional immune evasion or indeed of being more clinically severe. We don’t know that,” the Chief Scientist said.
  • “So we have to wait and see,” she said, adding that the world health body is tracking it and its Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is constantly looking at the data from across the world.
  • WHO Incident Manager COVID-19 Abdi Mahamud said that now is not the time to declare that the pandemic is over.
  • “We’re still in the midst of the pandemic and the virus has a lot of force left. So whether it is the BA.4 or BA.5 or BA.2.75, the virus will continue. It does what it does good,” he said.
  • He also added that people and communities must continue to wear masks, avoid crowds and ensure that the most vulnerable and high-risk population is protected.

(With ANI inputs)

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