Fresh alert as Omicron sub variants BA.4, BA.5 found in AP

Tests are done on 32 swab samples at a stretch per cycle and the results are out in 36 hours

Vijayawada: Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are found among the people during the latest rounds of genome sequencing test in Andhra Pradesh.

The state government had set up a Whole Genome Sequencing Lab at Siddhartha Medical College here. It has been carrying out random genome sequencing tests on swab samples. Tests are done on 32 swab samples at a stretch per cycle and the results are out in 36 hours.

The health authorities say that on an average, subjecting 10 to 12 per cent of the swab samples to genome sequencing tests showed the prevalence of Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5. This meant that their presence is more than the other sub-variants like BA2.75.

Andhra Pradesh Vaidya Vidhana Parishad commissioner Dr Vinod Kumar said, “We are finding the Omicron sub-variants like BA.4 and BA.5 on an average 10 to 12 per cent of the samples.”

Health experts suggested to the state government to conduct more of Covid tests and do fresh Covid-19 vaccinations --the first and second precaution dose -- for the targeted sections of the population, as also carry out more genome sequencing tests on Covid-19 positive people.

Meanwhile, the Union ministry of health and family welfare, in its weekly district-wise Covid-19 positivity report, mentioned that nine erstwhile districts in AP recorded positivity rate above 10 per cent -- ranging from the highest of 31.35 in Krishna, 26.41 per cent in Guntur, 23.33 per cent in Chittoor, 22.77 in Visakhapatnam, 14.51 per cent in West Godavari, 14.32 per cent in East Godavari, 12.44 per cent in Nellore, 10.96 per cent in Anantapur and 10.70 per cent in Vizianagaram. The remaining three erstwhile districts registered Covid-19 positive rates ranging between 10 and 5 per cent, indicating a fresh spread of the pandemic.

Health authorities have advised the people to maintain Covid protocol and take Covid precaution dose based on their eligibility, to be safe from getting infected by coronavirus. Health experts have urged the state government to inform the Centre, WHO, ICMR and other agencies about the prevailing situation in the state and seek funds to check the spread.

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