In India the first case of the COVID variant BA.4 has been detected in Hyderabad, the report is asserted by the researchers involved in the genome surveillance of the virus. They add that it is still yet unknown how much threat this variant poses as it is an outgrowth of the Omicron variant which already has spread across the nation.
SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Says About BA.2 COVID Variant
India’s SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) in their latest report said BA.2 variant has continually proved to be dominant in India, BA.2.10 and BA.2.12 are BA.2 sub-lineages that have been detected and many old BA.2 sequences have been reclassified into these new sub-lineages. So far these sub-lineages are not reported to be associated with increased severity of the disease.”
As per the latest reports that GSAID has, about 97.2 percent out of total samplings submitted, exactly 773 samplings have been detected of Omicron variant. Association in their report said, “Suspected recombinant sequences are under further analysis”.
Variant BA.4 Detected
This month in Hyderabad the COVID variant BA.4 was detected in the samples that were acquired from the travelers from South Africa. In this country, this sub-variant is causing the present COVID-19 wave as said by the individuals that are aware of the developments.
An official from Insacog said, “It is the Omicron variant after all; there may be spikes here and there, which are likely going to be transient ones. Therefore, as of now, it does not look like a cause for major concern.”
Dr. Gagandeep Kang from Christian Medical College, Vellore said, “The concern is high hospitalization and death rate for any new variants; however in the Omicron wave we have seen fewer hospitalizations and deaths, which seems to tell us that was some protection against severe disease at the population level likely because of the hybrid immunity due to vaccination and natural infection.”
Further added, “RNA viruses have high mutation rates but not all mutations are of serious concern. It is ok if transmissibility is on the higher side but hospitalizations and deaths are not increasing. One needs to look at clinical implications.”