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Omicron BA.2.12.1 Sub-Variant , The Strain Behind COVID Surge In Delhi Has A Delta Connection: Virologist Reveals

Omicron BA.2.12.1, The Strain Behind COVID Surge In Delhi Has Connections With Delta Variant

This new variant- Omicron BA.2.12.1, is also the reason behind the sudden spike in cases in the US.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Updated : April 26, 2022 10:58 AM IST

'COVID-19 virus is here to stay and people should learn to make safety COVID protocols a part of their lives now,' experts have been warning about the never-ending fight against COVID-19 for more than a year now. The deadliest virus outbreak has left the world in shock and trauma, as the battle seems tough and tough with the virus mutating faster than before. In a latest report, India has stated that there is a new mutation which is driving the sudden spike in cases in the national capital.

New Omicron BA.2.12.1 Sub-Variant - All You Need To Know

  1. The BA.2.12.1 sub-lineage of the highly virulent Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than the previous strains.
  2. BA.2.12.1 is causing a surge in cases in the USA.
  3. It has a growth advantage of about 30% to 90% per week over BA.2 (Omicron).
  4. BA.2.12.1 has the L452Q mutation also seen in Delta but not in BA.2.

Experts have also stated that these mutations in the L452 position of the spike protein in the BA.2.12.1 sub-lineage which is part of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) have been previously reported in a number of other variants, including Delta, Epsilon and Lambda.

New Omicron Variant Has a Delta Link

According to the experts, the highly virulent Omicron variant has mutated again to form another strain -- BA.2.12.1. In a survey last week, experts have revealed that most of the positive COVID cases in Delhi were found infected with Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.12 in the fortnight of April, this year. But, this is not it, experts have added that the Omicron BA.2.12.1 has some connections with the delta variant of COVID-19, the dominant strain which was behind the ferocious second wave in India. Yes, you read that right. The Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.12.1, which is being blamed for causing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR), has a mutation in the spike protein similar to the one found only in the Delta lineage.

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However, experts have refrained from commenting on how this mutation's connection with Delta will affect its severity rate. "Whether this connection causes any severity in infections is to be seen, but so far, clinicians claim, most Covid-positive cases are asymptomatic or mild," Shahid Jameel, a senior research fellow at Green Templeton College at Oxford University told the media.

This new variant- Omicron BA.2.12.1, is also the reason behind the sudden spike in cases in the US. "The BA.2.12 variant appears to have a growth advantage of about 30% to 90% per week over BA.2 (Omicron)," the officials were quoted as saying.

COVID-19: The Never Ending Battle

It is more than two years now that the world is fighting the deadliest virus outbreak in the history of mankind. First detected in 2019 in the lands of China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 is still circulating the globe, giving new threats to the healthcare workers. With several mutations, the virus has formed many variants in these two years, and every time, it has come stronger than before. At the latest, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against the newly detected XE mutant of the Omicron variant. This new mutation is a product of two sub-variants of Omicron, namely BA.1 and BA.2. The world is on high alert as cases of this new mutant are on the rise in many parts of Europe and Asia. However, the recent detection of the Omicron BA.2.12.1 variant is another alarm for the people of the country that this virus is not going away anywhere anytime soon and following safety behaviour shouldn't be a choice but a necessity for everyone.

(With inputs from agencies)

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