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BF.7 variant found in several Covid +ve samples of int'l fliers: Govt

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
January 11, 2023 23:47 IST
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Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said the Omicron sub-variant, BF.7, has been found in several of the 200 COVID-positive samples of international air passengers that have so far been genome-sequenced and the vaccines being used in India against the viral disease are effective against it.

IMAGE: A healthcare worker collects a swab sample of a tourist for COVID-19 testing amid surge in coronavirus cases in some countries, at the eastern entrance of the Taj Mahal, in Agra, January 5, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

More than 15 lakh international air passengers have so far been screened and 200 of them have tested positive for COVID-19, Mandaviya said on the sidelines of a book launch.


The minister released a book titled "Braving A Viral Storm", which has been authored by Aashish Chandorkar and Suraj Sudhir, at the Constitution Club here on Wednesday.

"The genome-sequencing of the 200 samples showed that the BF.7 variant was present in several passengers. Our vaccines are effective against this sub-variant," he said.

The health ministry had, on January 9, said the sentinel-sequencing of 324 Covid-positive samples lifted from the community between December 29 and January 7 had revealed the presence of all the Omicron variants, such as BA.2 and its sub-lineages including BA.2.75, XBB(37), BQ.1 and BQ.1.1(5), among others.

No mortality or rise in transmission was reported in the areas where these variants were detected, the ministry had said in a statement.

Besides, XBB(11), BQ.1.1(12) and BF7.4.1(1) were the main variants detected in the positive samples of 50 international passengers that have so far been genome-sequenced.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.