Omicron variant found in substantial fraction: Experts

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is in the community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros where new cases have been rising exponentially, the INSACOG has said in its latest bulletin.

It also said BA.2 lineage, an infectious sub-variant of Omicron, has been found in a substantial fraction in the country. The INSACOG, in its January 10 bulletin that was released on Sunday, said while most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases have increased in the current wave and the threat level remains unchanged.

“Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially. BA.2 lineage is in a substantial fraction in India and S gene dropout based screening is thus likely to give high false negatives,” it said. S-gene drop-out is a genetic variation like that of Omicron.