India already detected four cases of COVID sub-variant BF.7 behind massive outbreak in China

(Representational Image)PTI

India has recorded at least four cases of the Omicron sub-variant BF.7 that is behind the current COVID surge in China, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.

Three cases have been reported from Gujarat while one infection has been reported from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, ANI said citing sources.

Meanwhile, the government has restarted random sampling of international passengers at airports across India, ANI reported.

Earlier, the health ministry advised states to increase genome sequencing. Apart from China, coronavirus cases have also been rising in the US, Brazil, and South Korea.

BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5. It is highly transmissible, has a shorter incubation period, and has a higher capacity to cause reinfection or infect even those vaccinated.

What’s happening in China?

According to experts, the BF.7’s high transmissibility in China might be attributed to a low level of immunity in the country’s population from the previous infection and possibly vaccination too.

Also Read: China’s Covid spike: What we know about the new omicron variant BF.7

Cases have been rising since China lifted its strict zero-COVID policy.

Meanwhile, the variant has already been detected in several other countries, including UK Belgium, Germany, France and Denmark.

Should India be worried?

According to ANI, India reported the BF.7 cases in July, September and November.

In the COVID review meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, experts said although there is no overall increase in Covid caseload as of now, there is a need for continued surveillance to keep a track of existing and emerging variants.

Noting that only 27 to 28 percent of India’s eligible population have taken the Covid precaution dose, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr. V K Paul, after the meeting, said people should take the jab and also wear masks in crowded places.

“People should wear masks in crowded areas. Those with comorbidities and the old should especially adhere to this,” Paul said and urged people not to panic.

During the meeting, it was highlighted that Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are the top five states contributing in terms of new infections even though there is a consistent decline in the overall caseload in the country, PTI reported.

The government will again hold a meeting next week to monitor the situation.

With inputs from agencies

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