Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading

Odisha govt issues advisory after new Omicron BF.7 strain detected

The 4 new variant cases were reported in India in July, September and November and wherein three cases were reported from Gujarat and one from Odisha. (Image: AP)

This come after the detection of four confirmed cases of the new Omicron BF.7 strain in three Indian states, including Odisha. 

The cases were reported in India in July, September and November and wherein three cases were reported from Gujarat and one from Odisha. 

BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5 and has the strongest infection ability since it is highly transmissible, has a shorter incubation period, and has a higher capacity to cause reinfection or infect even those vaccinated.

In a statement, the state health department informed that "Omicron BF.7 Covid sub-variant was detected in Odisha, in a single sample tested on 30 September 2022. The RT-PCR testing of this was done on demand, for a female of Khordha district".

"RMRC did the genome sequencing for this sample. At the testing time, it was neither a VOC (Variant of Concern) nor VOI (Variant of Interest). In the 3 months since no other sample of BF.7 has been detected in Odisha," the statement further said.

"The lady tested was asymptomatic at the time of the test. She got tested for her travel to the US. She and her family are in the US since October. None of them has any flu-like symptoms since their departure from India," the statement added.

In a letter to all the authorities, State Health Secretary Shalini Pandit stated, “There is a rise in Covid cases in China, Japan, USA, Korea and Brazil and India is put on alert mode to follow the operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy in the context of Covid-19 issued by MOHFW in June 2022."

In view of the sudden of spurt of cases being witnessed in the above-mentioned countries, it is essential to gear up the disease surveillance and WGS of positive case samples to track the variant through the Indian SARS CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network(sic)," the letter stated.

It further said Covid-19-appropriate behaviour needs to be ensured along with testing, tracking, treating, contact tracing and vaccination.

"Further testing, tracking, treating, contact tracing, vaccination and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour needs to be followed scrupulously to enable timely detection of newer variants and facilitated for immediate containment measures. The samples of positive cases are to be sent on a daily basis to the nearest INSACOG lab (RMRC & ILS, Bhubaneswar). Cluster containment measures to be initiated immediately as per the protocol and guideline of Govt. of India," the letter stated. 

Yesterday, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also conducted a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the country and the preparedness of the public health system for surveillance, containment and management of COVID-19.

Mandaviya also said that Covid-19 is not yet over and directed officials to be alert and strengthen surveillance amid a surge in coronavirus cases globally.

Meanwhile, Dr VK Paul appealed to people to take precautionary dose. "Inly 27-28 per cent of people have taken precaution dose. "We appeal to others, especially senior citizens, to take the precautionary dose. Use a mask if you are in a crowded space, indoors or outdoors. This is all the more important for people with comorbidities or those of higher age," he said.

(With inputs from ANI)

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.