As many as 12 people tested positive for the new subvariants of COVID BA.4 and BA.5 in Tamil Nadu, as per state Health Minister M Subramanian.
The Minister informed that 300 samples were sent to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad of which 12 tested positive for the subvariants.
"Today morning we got info from CDFD that BA.4, and BA5 variants of COVID cases have been detected. So far 4 persons tested BA.4 variant positive while 8 people tested positive for BA.5 variant," he said on Sunday.
However, Subramanian said that all the patients are healthy and are currently under the Health Secretary's observation.
"Union Government officials will announce this information tomorrow. We are also observing the contacts of people who are all tested for new variants of COVID," he said.
Meanwhile, as India has been witnessing the subvariants of Omicron, Dr Tarun Kumar Sahni, Internal medicine and hyperbaric Oxygen therapist at Indraprastha Apollo hospital has clarified that the BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages are quite "mild" because they are behaving like other mutants of COVID-19.
"The sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are behaving the same as other mutants of COVID-19 variants. We have observed that it is quite mild. A few months ago, WHO said that BA.4 and BA.5 are variants of concern. The European countries have also recently called it a variant of concern," Dr Kumar told ANI.
He further said the variant of concern means a particular mutant that can quickly convert and become more serious and progressive than the other variants.
The health expert also stressed following the COVID-19 protocols including wearing masks.
BA.4 and BA.5 are subvariants of the Omicron variant circulating globally. These were reported first from South Africa earlier this year and are now reported from several other countries. These variants have not been associated with disease severity or increased hospitalization.