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Don’t Panic, Unlike Foreign Countries, No Extraordinary Strain of Coronavirus in India Yet: INSACOG

While some countries across the globe have started witnessing the comeback of Covid-19, India hasn’t noticed any “extraordinary” strain of coronavirus so far, microbiologist Dr Saumitra Das told Das, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), is a member of INSACOG – a national consortium of 52 institutions involved in genome sequencing of the coronavirus. In an interview to over the concerns on the fresh surge in Covid-19 in some countries in Europe and Asia, Das said that INSACOG was closely monitoring the global and local situation. “We need to have more discussion and data on the table to check the status of global reports that suggests a sporadic rise in cases. We are closely monitoring the local and international situation to spot any new trend.” He clarified that the “BA.2.2” is an unofficial designation of the Omicron’s lineage, which is not yet detected in India. ALSO READ | Fresh Surge, Lockdown & Covid Fatigue: What’s Ailing China Again | Explained According to media reports, there are more mutated versions of Omicron’s BA.2 sub-lineage and they are unofficially dubbed as BA.2.2, which is said to be found in Hong Kong and some parts of China. “BA.2.2 lineage has not been officially designated, also its existence in India and characteristics need confirmation,” Das told As far as BA.2 and BA.3 are concerned, he said, these two variants have been on the horizon for long. “Hence, there seems to be no direct relationship between the surge in cases and these sub-lineages,” he said, allaying fears of fresh waves due to these variants. INSACOG is responsible for monitoring the presence of variant strains of SARS coronavirus in India and it keeps finding various “unfit” strains of the virus in normal course. However, Das explained that the consortium does not ring an alarm unless it finds a variant of interest or concern.“It is the natural progression of a virus to mutate, hence finding mutated strains in common, but they all need not to be announced, unless an upward trend in the frequency of a particular mutation is observed.”Reason: It will cause an unnecessary panic. “We have been conducting genome-sequencing and till now, there is no extraordinary trend that needs to sound an alarm.” Read all the Latest News , Breaking News and Ukraine-Russia War Live Updates here.

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