Maharashtra has detected its first cases of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus, the health department said on Saturday according to PTI.
BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron had caused the fifth wave of the Covid-19 in South Africa in April. But the subvariants have not been associated with disease severity or increased hospitalisation, according to the Indian SARS-COV-2 Genomics Consortium, or INSACOG.
In Maharashtra, four patients were infected with the BA.4 subvariant, while the BA.5 strain was detected in three patients. All of them had mild symptoms and were treated in home isolation.
The subvariants were identified in whole genome sequencing conducted by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune and were confirmed by the Indian Biological Data Centre, Faridabad, according to ANI.
All seven patients are from Pune city and tested positive for the coronavirus between May 4 and May 18, a media bulletin issued by the state public health department said. Six of the patients are adults, while one is nine years old.
The adult patients have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Currently, coronavirus vaccines in India are only available for citizens aged 12 and above.
“Two of these patients have a history of travelling to South Africa, Belgium, while three had travelled to the Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka,” the bulletin said.
Maharashtra on Saturday registered 529 new coronavirus cases and no deaths.
The first cases cases of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants were found in Tamil Nadu and Telangana earlier this month. In Tamil Nadu, the BA.4 subvariant was found in a 19-year-old woman, the INSACOG said on May 23. In Telangana, an 80-year-old man tested positive for the BA.5 subvariant.
Both of them had mild symptoms.