Omicron subvariant BF.7 responsible for China’s recent Covid surge detected in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A case of Omicron subvariant BF.7, which has been driving the Covid-19 surge in China and some other countries these days, has recently been detected in Odisha, a media reported today.

As per the report, three cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7 have been detected in India so far.

There is no overall increase in Covid-19 caseload as of now but there is a need for continued observance of the safety protocols to keep the new variant and other emerging variants at bay, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said quoting the views of experts in a Covid-19 review meeting chaired by him.

“The first case of BF.7 in India was detected in October by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre. So far, two cases have been reported from Gujarat and one case from Odisha,” the Minister added.

India with its focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and strict adherence to Covid Appropriate Behavior has been able to restrict the transmission of the Covid-19 virus and is having around twelve hundred cases on a weekly basis. The Public Health challenge of Covid-19 still persists around the world with around thirty-five lakh cases reported weekly, an official circular issued yesterday by the Secretary to Government of India, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Rajesh Bhushan to all states and Union Territories (UTs) mentioned.

“ln view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network. Such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate the undertaking of requisite public health measures for the same,” the communiqué read.

It is pertinent to mention, Chinese cities are presently affected by highly transmissible Omicron strains –mostly BF.7, which is the main variant spreading in Beijing.

BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5 and has the strongest infection ability.

It has a shorter incubation period and has a higher capacity to cause reinfection or infect even those vaccinated as it is highly transmissible.

It has already been detected in several other countries, including the US, the UK and a few European nations such as Belgium, Germany, France and Denmark.

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