The latest round of genome sequencing carried out at the civic-run Kasturba Gandhi Hospital in Mumbai has detected the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in 88 per cent of the samples, indicating that the highly transmissible new variant has dominated over the Delta variant.
Out of the 363 samples sequenced, 320 (88%) showed the presence of the Omicron variant, 30 (8%) showed Delta derivatives, three (0.8%) had the Delta variant and 10 (2.7%) had others. This is in sharp contrast to the previous genome sequencing conducted last month in which the latest variant of concern was detected in just 55% of the samples.
INSACOG, the consortium of national laboratories that is tracking variants of the virus, has declared that the Omicron variant is in the community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in several metros.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Covid-19 task force, said, “Considering the global pattern, it was expected that Omicron will gradually dominate over Delta variants. But it shouldn’t be taken lightly and (you shouldn’t) put your guard down. Although the severity is less in Omicron, people with underlying health issues need to be extra cautious.”