The second case of Omicron BA.5 has been detected in India after a 29-year-old NRI, who recently came to Vadodara in Gujarat from South Africa, was found to be infected with the highly-transmittable COVID variant. The man tested positive on 1 May for coronavirus after he arrived here to meet his parents. Later, on 10 May, he flew to New Zealand after testing negative for the virus.
Dr Devesh Patel, Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s chief health officer, said, “His sample was sent to a laboratory in Gandhinagar for genome sequence. The report, received on Tuesday, confirmed that he was infected with the BA.5 sub-variant of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.” as quoted by news agency PTI.
“After testing positive for the coronavirus on May 1, the man was under self-isolation. He tested negative before leaving for New Zealand on May 10. His current whereabouts are not known,” Dr Patel said.
“The patient showed no symptoms. His parents, who were his only contacts, had tested negative for COVID-19 at that time. They have again tested negative for the virus,” the official said.
Earlier on Sunday, INSACOG confirmed the presence of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants- one case in Tamil Nadu and another in Telangana. Both the variants are extremely transmissible and circulating globally. These were first reported from South Africa earlier this year and are now being reported from several other countries.
The INSACOG had said these sub-variants have not been associated with disease severity or increased hospitalisation.