CHENNAI: The current surge in the cases of Covid-19 is not due to any new variants, but mainly due to already-existing SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant BA.2 and it's sub-variants.
Health department officials say that the rise cannot be attributed to a specific variant and co-infection with H3N2 Influenza virus are also adding up to the numbers.
As per the whole genomic sequencing of the currently prevalent cases in Tamil Nadu, the highest percentage is of the BA.2.10.1 sub-variant with about 29 per cent cases, followed by 24 per cent of XBB variant. The BA.2 variant comprises of about 15 per cent of all cases.
BA.5 variant cases are about six per cent in the State, while the Delta variant and Ba.2.75 is prevalent four and three per cent respectively. These remain as the most prevalent variants of the virus in the State.
The officials from the State Health Department say that they are intensifying the testing for Covid-19 within the State, but currently, there is no identified major outbreak in Chennai or Coimbatore that possibly seem to be the cause of rising cases in the two districts.
Dr P Sampath, joint director of the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said that as the cases of H3N2 influenza are on a rise in the State, there are cases of Covid-19 and flu co-infection also that have added to these numbers. "The severity in most of these cases remains low but for both the infections, isolation is very important and that prevents the spread. The safety protocols for both of them remain the same and thus, the use of masks and avoiding crowded places would cut down the risk of infection," said Dr Sampath.
He added that the elderly and people with comorbid conditions remain vulnerable and should be more cautious. The low coverage of booster dose of Covid-19 vaccination among these people also makes them highly vulnerable.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android