Hyderabad: Amid growing concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak in China, health experts said the current dominant variant in India is Omicron variant XBB with a prevalence of 47 per cent and asked people not to think of Covid-19 as a forgotten history.
Based on World Health Organisation (WHO) updates and current trends, they said people will need to exercise caution and adhere to basic precautions by following Covid-19 protocols. According to experts, the zero-case approach has not worked for countries such as China.
WHO has made it absolutely clear that 2023 will not be a year of emergency situations such as lockdowns, but advised people to get accustomed to living with Covid-19. “Experience of the pandemic has shown that new dangerous variants take six months to emerge.
No fourth wave or no new variant has emerged in India, yet we should not completely disregard protocols as new sub-variants can be a cause forconcern. Hence, our formula should be: Exercise caution and not press the panic button,” said Dr Kiran Madala, an ICMR-certified researcher.
While some experts said XBB could infect fully vaccinated individuals, the most common symptoms that have been reported by patients infected with this variant areL: diarrhoea, fever, chills, extreme fati-gue, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste.
XBB is a recombinant of BA. 2. 10. 1 and BA. 2. 27 sub-lineages. It was first reported on August 13. Experts believe that the XBB variant may also have an impact on how well monoclonal antibody treatments work in preventing Covid-19 spread.
Globally, the BA. 5 ascendant lineages of Omicron have the most cases (73 per cent) followed by BA. 2 variant (3 per cent). Along with BA. 5, the dominant subvariant, XBB, another ascendant lineage of BA. 5, is found mostly in India. An expert said the genetic diversification of Omicron descendent variants has resulted in more than 540 descendent lineages and more than 61 recombinants.