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Updated April 22nd, 2022 at 00:17 IST

COVID-19: New variants of Omicron found in Delhi amid possibility of fourth wave

As Coronavirus cases take a gradual upturn in India, there are as many as eight variants of Omicron that are emerging that have been sequenced by the ILBS

Abhishek Raval
COVID-19
IMAGE : REPUBLIC | Image:self
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As Delhi records a surge in COVID-19 cases, there are as many as eight variants of Omicron that are emerging that have been sequenced by the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), stated Dr SK Sarin, Director, ILBS. Stressing on the need of wearing masks, Dr Sarin cautioned children may be infected because their vaccination coverage is low in the country. 

Dr Sarin said out of the eight omicron variants that are emerging, one may be more dominant than others, "I think by today at our institute ILBS many samples have been sequenced and I think there are eight variants of which one is now dominating, we will come to know slowly," he told ANI. The variant, responsible for the sudden surge in Delhi is BA.2.12.1, a sibling of the Omicron, according to sources to ANI.

As cases rise in Delhi, neighbouring states too at risk

Centre, on April 19, asked Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Mizoram and Haryana to follow the five-step formula to control the surge in COVID cases. It includes adopting a five-step containment strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour. The Centre has also asked the states to maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action without losing the gains made thus far in the fight against the coronavirus. 

The states have been asked to take specific steps in the direction of monitoring clusters of new COVID-19 cases; adequate testing and reporting high case positivity; monitoring Influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARI cases on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals; genomic sequencing for prescribed samples and vaccination of the eligible population.

Former ICMR head scientist denies emergence of a fourth wave

Meanwhile, Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, former ICMR head scientist, said that the recent rise in COVID cases in the country is not indicative of a fourth coronavirus wave. He was also of the view, that schools should not be closed with the surge in cases as it hampers the education and the overall development of the children. 

The LG of Delhi, Anil Baijal also concurred with Dr Gangakhedkar. He stressed the importance of the formation and adherence of new SOPs in the schools in Delhi and also opined the violation should invite strict penalties. Based on consultations with experts, the LG weighed on scaling up testing, vaccination coverage and testing in Delhi. LG Baijal was expressing his thoughts at the 36th meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal also concurred with Dr Gangakhedkar. He stressed on the importance of the formation and adherence of new SOPs in the schools in Delhi and also opined the violation should invite strict penalties. Based on consultations with experts, the LG weighed on scaling up testing, vaccination coverage and testing in Delhi. LG Baijal was expressing his thoughts at the 36th meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

IMAGE : REPUBLIC

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Published April 21st, 2022 at 23:37 IST

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