Omicron sub-variants behind rising Covid cases in India: Doctors

Although the cases are rising sharply, doctors are calling them mild, noting that the symptoms resolve within 2-3 days, and require no hospitalisation.
Women wait for their turn to get COVID tested at a government hospital in Hyderabad.[Representational picture]
Women wait for their turn to get COVID tested at a government hospital in Hyderabad.[Representational picture]File/ANI

New Delhi, June 9: With India reporting a sudden rise in the number Covid-19 cases for a second day in a row, doctors said on Thursday that Omicron sub-variants are behind the spike in Covid caseload.

The Union Health Ministry said on Thursday that India registered 7,240 fresh Covid cases in the last 24 hours, up from 5,233 infections logged the previous day.

Maharashtra reported 2,701 fresh cases, its highest infection count since January 25, while Kerala reported 2,271 new cases in the last 24 hours. The national capital reported 564 cases.

Although the cases are rising sharply, doctors are calling them mild, noting that the symptoms resolve within 2-3 days, and require no hospitalisation.

"I have observed that the recent Covid positive patients are getting better in 48 to 72 hours. Nobody has required any Remdesivir or immunotherapy. Patients are not having major complications," Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine at Global Hospital, Mumbai, told IANS.

Agarwal credited vaccination to be the reason for low severity.

"This is a mild wave compared to January. Or we can say this is the mildest wave of Covid that we have seen," Agarwal said.

Satish Koul, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, told IANS that he is seeing patients with Covid symptoms in OPD on a regular basis.

The symptoms begin with "fever, sore or scratchy throat, body ache, fatigue, followed by cough and throat irritation", Koul told IANS.

The symptoms are similar to those seen in Omicron, "but with a possibility of a sub-strain".

The sub-variant is "demonstrating immune escape, meaning it's evading vaccine induced immunity and immunity gained with previous Covid-19 infection", he added.

According to Sushila Kataria, Senior Director, Internal Medicine, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram, the new cases are "of Omicron lineage, possibly the BA.2 variant".

Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have reportedly detected cases of BA 4 and BA 5 strains of Omicron.

However, people are getting better with home medication and "there is no need to panic".

"If you wear a mask and follow all the Covid protocols, it will help you to not fall sick. People should follow the protocols even if the government has not made them mandatory," the doctors said.

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