COVID-19 in India: Omicron Sub-Variant BA 5 Found in Two Patients in Pune

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Pune, July 22: Two patients have tested positive for Omicron sub-variant BA.5 in Maharashtra, informed the state health department. The samples of both the patients were sent to NIV, Pune.

Both patients hail from outside Maharashtra but are residing in rural parts of Pune for professional reasons. They have been found COVID-19 positive at the routine screening of Pune airport (Period July 3-9) while they were returning from Dubai. Omicron Sub-Variants BA.2, BA.4, BA.5 May Target Lungs, Evade Vaccine and Prior Infection, Say Studies.

They were asymptomatic and recovered fully at home isolation. These additions have taken the overall tally of BA.4 and BA.5 cases in Maharashtra to 160, the health department further added.

District wise BA.4 and BA.5 are– Pune -93, Mumbai -51, Thane -5, Nagpur, Palghar – 4 each, Raigad -3, informed the health department. Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Friday reported 2,515 Covid-19 cases and six more deaths linked to the infection, taking the tally to 80,29,910 and the toll to 1,48,051, an official said.

The recovery count increased by 2,449 in the last 24 hours. BA.4 and BA.5 are subvariants of the Omicron variant circulating globally. These were reported first from South Africa earlier this year and are now reported from several other countries. These variants have not been associated with disease severity or increased hospitalization.

The first case of BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been found in Tamil Nadu and Telangana respectively, confirmed the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

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