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New Omicron strain first seen in India in May: WHOThe new Omicron variant BA.2.75 was first detected in India in May this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, as it issued its first report on accelerating access to genomics for global health.

WHO said so far less than 200 sequences are available from about 14 countries, and many of these are from India.

“The first collection date of these sequences is around May 2022,” it said.

Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid-19 technical lead, emerging diseases and zoonoses lead, WHO health emergencies programme said, “All of the sub lineages of Omicron are characterised as a variant of concern.”

She said at present “very few sequences” are available for BA.2.75 and, hence, the understanding of the behaviour is very “limited”.

Kerkhove said WHO is looking at the characteristics of transmission, characteristics of severity and whether or not the variant or sub-lineage is more or less severe. WHO also monitors the properties of immune escape, and whether or not our interventions continue to work.

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