No new variant of concern detected in country since Omicron, Centre tells Lok Sabha

No new variant of concern of coronavirus has been detected in India since Omicron in the first week of December 2021 according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, the Lok Sabha was informed Friday. However, various Omicron sub-lineages are circulating across all states with the clinical presentation remaining largely the same, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply in the Lower House.

In reply to a question, she said Omicron and its sub-lineages are found to be associated with milder disease as evidenced by the relatively lower rates of hospitalizations reported by states and Union Territories.

Given the emergence of coronavirus variants with variable transmissibility and other public health implications, the health ministry is following the COVID-19 trajectory globally and in the country along with various expert committees.

The Health Ministry has requested states and Union Territories to focus on the test-track-treat-vaccination strategy and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour and has urged them to remain prepared for any surge in trajectory, Pawar said in the written reply.

The Union Ministry of Health provides requisite support to states and Union Territories to enhance preparedness and response capacities against COVID-19, she said.

“Funding support has been provided to them for health system strengthening to meet any exigency due to resurgence of cases in the country through National Health Mission, State Disaster Response Funds, Emergency COVID19 Response and Preparedness packages and PM – Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission,” the minister added.

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