Omicron variant on community transmission stage

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Omicron variant on community transmission stage (Image: Pixabay)
Omicron variant on community transmission stage (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is in the community transmission stage and it is the dominant strain in most of the metro cities.

While most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases have increased in the current wave and the threat level remains unchanged, INSACOG said in its January 10 bulletin that was released on Sunday.

"Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially. BA.2 lineage is in a substantial fraction in India and S gene dropout based screening is thus likely to give high false negatives," it said.

"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 has been detected in India," the INSACOG added.

It also said in its bulletin on January 3 that the Omicron variant is in community transmission stage; it had also mentioned that the variant is dominant in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

"Further spread of Omicron in India is now expected to be through internal transmission, not foreign travellers, and a revised sampling and sequencing strategy of INSACOG is being worked out to address genomic surveillance objectives in the wake of dynamic changing scenario of virus infection," the INSACOG said.

"COVID appropriate behaviour and vaccination are main shields against all form mutations of SARSCoV-2 virus," it said.

The INSACOG, under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 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.

A total of 1,50,710 samples have been sequenced and 1, 27,697 samples have been analysed so far by INSACOG.