In the wake of an increase in Covid-19 cases in the state, health officials announced on Saturday that seven individuals had been infected with newer Omicron sublineages BA.4 (four patients) and BA.5 (one patient) (three patients). These cases were discovered in the city of Pune.
Maharashtra is the third state to declare these additional sublineages as the cause of South Africa’s fifth wave. Insacog experts recently stated that two cases of BA.4 and one case of BA.5 had been discovered in Tamil Nadu and Telangana, respectively.
In late April, Maharashtra saw a spike in covid cases. On April 15, the daily tally in Maharashtra and Mumbai was 69 and 44, respectively, but on May 1, the figures had risen to 169 and 92, respectively. On May 26, the daily caseload surpassed 500, and on Saturday, it stood at 529. With 330 cases, Mumbai accounted for more than 60% of Saturday’s total. According to experts, the current rise could be due to the introduction of newer Omicron sub-lineages into circulation.
Dr Pradip Awate, a state surveillance officer, agreed, saying, “BA. 4 and. 5 are the Omicron sub-lineages that have a higher rate of transmission based on worldwide experience.”
Dr. Awate noted that two of the seven Pune patients had travelled to Africa and Belgium, while three others had visited Kerala and Karnataka. The remaining two have no prior travel experience.
With the exception of one nine-year-old patient, all of these individuals have had all of their vaccinations. Omicron has been reported to evade Covid antibodies and produce illness outbreaks.
Meanwhile, BMC officials stated that genetic surveillance in the city has been delayed due to a reduction in cases in April. Only genome sequencing can definitively identify sub-lineages and variations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid.