India detects first case of Omicron sub-variant BQ.1 in Maharashtra

Pune: India on Tuesday found its first case of Omicron sub-variant BQ.1 in Pune, Maharashtra, the health department said.

On Monday, Maharashtra health authorities said BQ.1 was detected during genome sequencing of a sample of a Pune resident.

The new sub-variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are descendants of BA.5, which is a sub-variant of Omicron. BA.5 accounts for over 60 percent of cases in the United States, and now its relatives are becoming active. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it was first discovered in Botswana and has spread to become the predominant variant in circulation worldwide.

Maharashtra witnessed a 17.7 increase in Covid cases in the week ending October 16.

The BQ.1 Covid strain and its descendant, called BQ.1.1, have increased by 10% since September in the United States.

According to the Union Health Ministry, India has reported 1,542 new coronavirus infections and eight Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours across the country.

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