Experts call for more Covid tests to check spread of Omicron’s sub variant

The experts say BA.2.75 has alarming mutations in the key spike protein

Vijayawada: The presence of Omicron’s sub variant BA.2.75 has been traced in nine states and infects even those who were exposed to Covid-19 earlier and those who took Covid jabs.

Following this, health experts have suggested to the AP government to take up more Covid tests and administer booster dose to the people in order to be safe.

The experts say BA.2.75 has alarming mutations in the key spike protein. There is a chance this sub variant would induce milder infection than the previous Omicron variant lineages.

They say that the BA.2 sub variant spread massively in the country and by June, the most prevalent sub variant was identified as BA.2.38. It accounted for 36 per cent of all sequenced isolates. Subsequently, BA.2 (34%), BA. 5 (10%) and BA.4 (1-2%) sub variants have been detected.

Experts say that though the new sub variants caused only a limited hospitalizations or deaths, the emerging sub lineages evade both natural and vaccine-induced immunity among the people.

This means that the monoclonal/polyclonal antibodies may fail to work and the immunity gained through exposure to Covid infection and vaccination may not protect people against BA.4 and BA.5.

Indian Medical Association’s AP branch has issued an advisory to the state government underlining the importance to have more Covid tests and give the Covid booster dose.

Its president Dr Srinivasa Raju said, “We have sent an open advisory to the health principal secretary seeking his intervention to curb the spread.”

Siddhartha Medical College pulmonology head Dr Gopichand said, “Despite the evolving of the sub variants, their virulence is coming down. But, it is better to administer the booster dose and continue observing the safety protocols.”

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