Covid Variant ‘BF.7’ Found in India: Everything You Need to Know
“There is no need to panic,” the government says; it has asked states to send samples for genome sequencing, which can aid in identifying the variant causing Covid.
So far, at least four cases of the Omicron sub-variant BF.7, the Covid strain driving China’s current outbreak, have been identified in India.
Here are ten interesting facts about the new Covid variant BF.7:
- So far, the BF.7 variant has been detected in two cases in Gujarat and two cases in Odisha. It has already been detected in several other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as European countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, and Denmark.
- Despite the government’s advice to wear masks in crowded places, there is no need to panic, according to Adar Poonawalla of vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII).
- Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted following a review meeting on Wednesday, “COVID is not yet over. I have directed everyone involved to be on high alert and to increase surveillance. We are ready to deal with any situation.”
- The union government has also requested that states send samples to labs for genome sequencing, which can aid in the identification of the variant or sub-variant.
- “Given the sudden surge of cases seen in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, and China, it is critical to ramp up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to all states.
- Experts said at a Covid review meeting chaired by the minister on Wednesday that while there is no overall increase in Covid caseload in India right now, there is a need for ongoing surveillance to keep track of existing and emerging variants.
- According to sources, BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5, and has the strongest infectivity because it is highly contagious, has a short incubation period, and is also capable of reinfecting or causing infection. Those who are vaccinated.
- The high level of spread in Chinese cities, including Beijing, is being attributed to a “low level of immunity,” possibly due to previous infections.
- When the first case of BF.7 infection was discovered, health expert Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan stated, “Omicron has been emitting branches that divide into smaller branches since its arrival in November 2021. BA.2 and BA.5 were found to be more powerful than the others. BA.5.1.7 and BF.7 are names given to BA.5’s descendants.”
- As of Wednesday, India reported 129 new infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,408. Over the last 24 hours, one death has been reported.