New Covid sub-variant detected in India
July 7, 2022 12:37 PM
A new sub-lineage BA.2.75 of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has been detected in India and some other countries, are being closely tracked by the World Health Organisation, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO said that new Covid cases reported across the world have seen a spike over the past two weeks. “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," he said.
1) WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that there has been an emergence of a covid sub-variant that is being called the BA.2.75 “first reported from India and then from about 10 other countries."
2) 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," she said.
3) The WHO is tracking BA.2.75 and the WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is constantly looking at the data from around the world, she added.
“And at any time if there is an emergence of a virus that looks very different from a previous one, enough to be called a separate variant of concern, then the committee will do that."
4) On Wednesday, India has reported 16,159 new coronavirus infections and 28 new fatalities, an increase of 737 cases in a span of 24 hours. The active cases in India increased to 1,15,212, according to the Union Health Ministry data, while the daily positivity rate was recorded at 3.56%.
5) In its latest weekly bulletin on Covid, WHO said globally after a decline in newly reported cases for seven consecutive weeks, there has been a slight increase in new weekly cases in the last two weeks, with over 2.6 million cases reported last week (28 June – 4 July 2021).
6) The number of weekly deaths continued to decrease, with under 54 000 deaths reported in the past week, a 7% decrease as compared to the previous week. This is the lowest weekly mortality figure since early October 2020, according to WHO.
7) The highest numbers of new cases during the reported week were reported from Brazil, India, Colombia, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom, the WHO said.
8) 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 adding that people and communities must continue to wear masks, avoid crowds and ensure that the most vulnerable and high-risk population is protected.
9) WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said compounding the Covid-19 challenge are a number of factors, including that testing has reduced dramatically in many countries. “This obscures the true picture of an evolving virus and the real burden of COVID-19 disease globally. It also means that treatments are not given early enough to prevent serious illness and/or death."
10) “Decreasing immunity underscores the importance of boosters, especially for the most at-risk," the WHO chief said adding that each wave of the virus leaves more people with the long-COVID or post-COVID condition," he said.