New Delhi: The new COVID-19 variant Omicron has reached community transmission level in India, said Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) on Sunday.
“Omicron is now in community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially”, said INSACOG in its recent bulletin published on Sunday.
The INSACOG reports genomic surveillance of SARS CoV-2 across the country through sequencing of samples from Sentinel sites and also detailed State wise district analysis for some states.
The Genomics research organisation has also said that an infectious sub-variant of Omicron BA.2 lineage has been detected in a considerable fraction in India.
“BA.2 lineage is a substantial fraction in India and S-gene dropout based screening is thus likely to give high false negatives. Tests suitable for PCR based screening applicable to all Omicron lineages have been approved for use”, said the genomics consortium in its bulletin.
Threat level remains unchanged
The INSACOG has said that while most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases have been increasing in the current wave. The threat level remains unchanged.
“The recently reported B.1.640.2 lineage is being monitored. There is no evidence of rapid spread and while it has features of immune escape, it is currently not a variant of concern. So far, no case detected in India”, the bulletin reads further.
The Covid research body has said that at global level, the majority of severe cases and deaths have been in unvaccinated subjects, with high protection associated with vaccination or previous infection.
Meanwhile, India reported over 300,000 new COVID-19 infections for the fourth straight day even though the caseload over the last 24 hours was slightly lower than a day before, data released by the government on Sunday showed.
India reported 333,533 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours with 525 dead, according to the figures released by the government.
India’s total death toll due to COVID-19 now stands at 489,409, the health ministry said. On Saturday, India had reported 337,704 new cases of COVID-19 and 488 dead.
The government in the statement said the recovery rate for infected people currently stands at 93.18 per cent.
Since the start of this year, different parts of the country are under varying degrees of restrictions to contain infections caused by highly transmissible Omicron variant.
India’s capital Delhi has imposed a weekend curfew and even though it was widely expected that Delhi will ease some restrictions, the local government decided on Friday to continue with the curfew.
The federal government said it tested 1.87 million people in the last 24 hours and it planned to continue to expand its testing through the country.