The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is in the community transmission stage in India and it has also become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially, said Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium in its weekly bulletin on Sunday.
"Omicron is now in community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially. BA.2 lineage is in a substantial fraction in India and S gene dropout based screening is thus likely to give high false negatives," it said.
According to the report RTPCR screening applicable to all Omicron lineages, "Tests suitable for PCR based screening applicable to all Omicron lineages have been approved for use."
"While most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalizations and ICU cases have been increasing in the current wave. The threat level remains unchanged," it further said.
"The recently reported B.1.640.2 lineage is being monitored. There is no evidence of rapid spread and while it has features of immune escape, it is currently not a variant of concern. So far, no case detected in India," INSACOG added.
The bulletin also said that the Omicron wave continues to expand globally, but the rate of hospitalisation during this wave is less.
INSACOG further said, "Omicron wave continues to expand globally, with new highs being established for daily infections. The rate of hospitalisation during this wave is much lower as compared to the previous wave with Delta, attributable to both intrinsically reduced severity with lesser propensity to cause pneumonia, and higher population immunity.
However, due to the very high number of cases, the absolute number of hospitalizations has crossed previous highs in many countries and is creating stress on healthcare systems.
While deaths have been much lower during the new wave, compared with previous waves, there have been Omicron-associated deaths.
In data so far, the majority of severe cases and deaths have been in unvaccinated subjects, with high protection associated with vaccination or previous infection.
Meanwhile, India reported 3,33,533 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the active caseload to 21,87,205, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.