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Sayantani Biswas

Patients infected with Omicron subvariant BF.7, BF 12 fully recovered: Gujarat government

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

“Two patients infected with BF.7 & BF 12 variants of Omicron were reported in July-October-November-2022. These patients were treated in home isolation & have fully recovered" the state health department said. 

The statements come as earlier reports emerged that three cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7 have been detected in India so far. 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 while one case has been reported from Odisha

New agency PTI reported that the Omicron subvariant BF.7 is the one driving the alarming surge in cases in the east Asian country of China.   

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.

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

On Wednesday the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a high level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation int he country. After the meeting, Mandaviya said Covid-19 is not over yet.

"In view of the rising cases of Covid-19 in some countries, I reviewed the situation with experts and officials today. Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation," Mandaviya said in a tweet.

During the meeting, attended by experts and senior officials, the minister was briefed on the global Covid-19 situation and the domestic scenario, including the preparedness of all stakeholders.

Noting that only 27-28 per cent of India's eligible population have taken the precaution dose of Covid-19, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul, after the meeting, said people should take the jab and also wear masks in crowded places.

"People should wear masks in crowded areas. Those who have comorbidities or are elderly should especially adhere to this," Paul said.

In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures.

(With agency inputs)

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