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South African variant Omicron BA.2 found in Patna

  • 11 Jan 2022
  • 3 min read

Why In News

  • Recently, the genetic pattern BA.2 of the South African Omicron variant has been found in Patna, the capital of Bihar. This variant is contagious and is rapidly infecting people.

Key Points

  • After its spread in South Africa, scientists and experts of the World Health Organization have described it as seven times more infectious than the delta variant. However, according to experts, it is less lethal than Delta.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are three variants (ba.1, ba.2 and ba.3) in the Omicron variant (basic B.1.1.529) of the Pango lineage. The ba.2 mutant is also known as 'Omicron-like' and is more difficult to identify.
  • BA.1 and BA.3 have a 69–70 deletion in the spike protein, whereas BA.2 does not. Due to this deletion, these sub-variants are successful in bypassing existing vaccines and they spread rapidly.
  • Scientists from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACAG) of the Department of Biotechnology (DOB) said that out of these three sub-variants, the presence of BA.1 and BA.2 is being found more in genome sequencing in India. In this too, especially BA.1 is fast replacing the delta and most of the cases are being found in Maharashtra and many other states. BA.3 is not yet available in India.
  • Significantly, due to the dense population in Bihar and India, its infection is spreading very fast. The speed with which this infection is spreading can break the previous record of getting the number of infected in a day.
  • At the same time, due to its recent spread in India, till now the fatal form has not come to the fore. Only mild symptoms are being seen in the infected so far. Instead of the lungs, this infection is seen going directly from the windpipe to the stomach in most cases. That's why this time the serious victims of shortness of breath are rarely seen.
  • The only way to avoid this is to include Corona standards in your practice.
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