Delhi

Analysis of 20 deaths shows Omicron presence in all cases

Health workers attending to a patient at the CWG Covid Care Centre in the Capital on Friday.

Health workers attending to a patient at the CWG Covid Care Centre in the Capital on Friday.

An analysis of samples of 20 people who died due to COVID-related ailments between January 1 and 24 has shown that all of them were infected with the Omicron variant, an official source told The Hindu .

The study conducted by the Delhi government also revealed, through the genome sequencing of the samples, that 14 of those 20 people were carrying the BA.2 virus, a sub-variant of Omicron. The Delhi government is investigating the severity and recovery among those found positive with the BA.2 sub-variant, the source said.

“Samples of over 200 people, who tested positive for COVID-19 before or after their death, were sent for genome sequencing. Of the 20 results out so far, all are found to be infected with the Omicron variant. Results of the rest of the samples are awaited,” the source said.

Among those 20 people, there could be some who were suffering from other diseases. They could have succumbed to other ailments and not to COVID-19, the source added.

“The government is also looking into how many of the total Omicron cases in Delhi are of BA.2 sub-lineage,” the source said. The BA.2 is more prevalent in India now as opposed to the BA.1 virus, according to the Central government.

Dr. Jugal Kishore, Head of Community Medicine Department at Safdarjung Hospital, said the doctors had initially come across the BA.1 sub-variant of Omicron and BA.2 was considered a minor mutation of the same variant. He added that there was no need to worry.

“BA.2 was detected in the U.K. also and it was found to be slightly more transmissible. But its severity is the same as that of BA.1. Such mutations are bound to happen,” Dr. Kishore said.

He added that the Omicron variant found in the samples of the 20 deceased doesn’t make it any more dangerous. “Omicron is the dominating variant right now, so it is natural that it will reflect in the deaths too. Also, most of the deaths are due to comorbidities,” he added.

Cases fall

Meanwhile, the test positivity rate (TPR) of COVID-19 fell to 8.6% on Friday, down from 9.56% recorded a day earlier, according to a Delhi government bulletin.

The number of new COVID-19 cases over last 24 hours decreased to 4,044 from 4,291 on Thursday. Twenty-five new deaths were reported, taking the toll to 25,769, as per the bulletin. Of the total 15,420 hospital beds for COVID-19, 87.5% were reported vacant.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 12:20:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/analysis-of-20-deaths-shows-omicron-presence-in-all-cases/article38341845.ece