Omicron Main Subvariant Continues To Mutate, INSACOG Sounds Alarm Ahead Of Holiday Season

Even though Covid-19 cases have seen a steady decline in the number of daily cases reported in India, the Omicron variant may play spoilsport. According to Insacog scientists, the BA.2.75 variant of Omicron, which has been the most dominant, could cause serious problems ahead of the festive season, reports the Times of India.

According to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), the Omicron variant continues to mutate in parts of the country and is likely to become even more transmissible, reports TOI. Additionally, another cause for concern is that the variant may be immuno-evasive, which could raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. The BA.2.75 Omicron variant is known to be the “most immune evasive strain”.

Omicron has been around since late last year, with a series of super transmissible versions moving rapidly past each other, and experts believe “it will continue to mutate for at least the next few months”, adding that it is This is probably a separate new variant of omicron. may also appear.

In India, the Maharashtra coordinator for genome sequencing, Dr. Rajesh Karyakarte, spoke to TOI and confirmed that the Omicron variant “mutates more”. Dr. Karyakarte said: “It fights for dominance by packing in more immune evasive mutations.”

“This sub-variant has been found in recent samples from Maharashtra, but it remains to be seen whether this ‘second child line’ will dominate the existing BA.2.75,” Dr. Karyakarte told TOI. “In 71 recent samples from Pune, 20 had BA.2.75. BA.2.75.1 was in around 11 samples and BA.2.75.2 was found in around 17 samples. The rest had other Omicron sublines. This shows that BA.2.75.2 seems to be catching up with BA.2.75,” Karyakarte told TOI.

BA.2.75 and its sublines are believed to be found in 90% of samples sequenced in Maharashtra, raising concerns of another spike in cases with the festive season just around the corner.

INSACOG, established under the Ministry of Health in 2020 to study and monitor genome sequencing and viral variation of circulating strains of COVID-19 in India, reports genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 across the country through sequencing of samples from sentinel sites and international passengers arriving in India.

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