COVID-19 infections linked to the new Omicron subvariant BF.7, which is behind the current spike in cases in China and other countries, have also been found in India.
According to reports, at least four BF.7 infections have been reported in India so far.
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Three cases of BF.7 were reported from Gujarat and one from Odisha.
“There are currently ten different variants of COVID-19 in the country, with the latest variant being BF.7. At present various variants of Omicron are spreading in the country and the Delta variant can still be seen in the country,” a source told ANI.
Odisha woman got tested for US travel
A case of Omicron BF.7 Covid sub-variant was detected in Odisha in a single sample tested on September 30, state Health Department officials said on Wednesday.
The RT-PCR testing of a woman from the Khordha district was done on demand. Later, the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, did the genome sequencing for the sample.
The woman, who came out asymptomatic at that time of the test, had got tested for her travel to the US. She and her family have been there since October, but none of them have had any flu-like symptoms since their departure from India, the department said.
At the time of testing, the Centre neither declared it as a VOC (Variant of Concern) nor VOI (Variant of Interest). In the past three months, no other sample of BF.7 has been detected in Odisha, state’s Director, Public Health Niranjan Mishra, said.
US return woman tests positive in Gujarat
The first BF.7 case in Gujarat was also detected in September, on a 61-year-old woman, a resident of the Subhanpura area of Vadodara, who arrived in the city in September from the USA.
All you need to know about BF.7
The 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.
It has already been detected in several other countries, including the US and UK and European nations such as Belgium, Germany, France and Denmark.
India steps up alert over BF.7
Amid the growing concerns over another possible COVID-19 surge in India, as a precautionary measure, the government has restarted random sampling of international passengers at airports across the country from Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel asked officials to conduct “compulsory” testing of travellers arriving in the state from other countries.
While no patient infected with a new Omicron variant has been identified in the state yet, Maharashtra Heath Minister Tanaji Sawant said on Wednesday that thermal screening will be conducted for air passengers arriving from countries where the variant has been found.
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