First case of the BA.5 sub-variant of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Gujarat after a 29-year-old NRI (Non-Resident Indian) who had visited the state from South Africa in the first week of May, tested positive for the variant, Vadodara Municipal Corporation said on Tuesday, 24 May.
A resident of South Africa, he had tested positive for COVID-19 after he arrived to Gujarat on 1 May to meet his parents, reported The Indian Express.
Subsequently, he tested negative for the virus and left for New Zealand on 10 May. His samples were sent to a laboratory in Gandhinagar for genome sequencing. Its results were obtained on Tuesday, which confirmed the presence of the variant in the man, Dr Devesh Patel, Vadodara Municipal Corporation's Chief Health Officer said.
'Current Whereabouts of the Man Not Known'
"After testing positive for the coronavirus on 1 May, the man was under self-isolation. He tested negative before leaving for New Zealand on May 10. His current whereabouts are not known," he further said, as per news agency PTI.
He added that the man had not shown any COVID-19 symptoms then. His parents, who were his only contacts, had also tested negative for the virus at that time. They have tested negative now as well, Patel said.
The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), on Sunday, 22 May, confirmed that they have detected India's first cases of BA.4 Omicron subvariant.
While one case was detected in a South African traveller in Hyderabad, in another case, a 19 year old woman in Tamil Nadu was found to be infected with BA.4, according to the press release issued by INSACOG.
According to the consortium, the BA.5 variant was also detected in an 80 year old man from Telangana. The man is said to have mild symptoms, and is fully vaccinated.
"Contact tracing of the BA.4 and BA.5 patients is being undertaken as a precautionary measure," read the press release.
(With inputs from PTI, Indian Express)
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