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Nagpur: Omicron variant found in 96% of 53 coronavirus cases sequenced by NEERI Lab

The development was confirmed in the very first run of the newly established Genome Sequencing Facility at CSIR-NEERI's Environmental Virology Cell.

Nagpur: In Nagpur district, less than a month after the first Omicron virus case was confirmed, New highly transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2 has become the dominant strain in positive cases, a study shows. Between January 1 and January 6, 53 samples sequenced the Omicron virus type was found in about 51, or 96%, of the cases.

omicron variant found

The development was confirmed in the very first run of the newly established Genome Sequencing Facility at CSIR-NEERI’s Environmental Virology Cell. SAIL was also running an ICMR-accredited coronavirus RT-PCR lab since the first wave of Covid in the year 2020.

CSIR-NEERI’s SAIL has been able to set up the Vidarbha region’s first genome sequencing facility, before any of the three medical colleges – AIIMS, IGGMCH, and GMCH Nagpur.

The head of this cell, Krishna Khairnar, has said that the most recent samples were taken for the study.

They have also said that they have done whole genome sequencing on about 53 samples obtained from January 1 to January 6. About 51 of them in the study were positive for the Omicron variant (b.1.1529), Whereas two samples were of the other type (20A).

Of the 51 confirmed Omicron virus patients, only one had a foreign travel history. It is also believed to have come in contact with other Omicron virus carriers. Similarly, the recent spurt in the district, which was reporting less than 20 cases by the end of the month of December.

Sequencing Results Showed

Krishna also said that although proportionally about 96% of the samples are of the Omicron virus type, more sequencing is needed.

NEERI SAIL in collaboration with CCMB Hyderabad had sequenced 900 samples collected between October 2020 and December 2021 for district Nagpur. According to its study on the samples of the previous lot, the delta variant was dominant till the beginning of the month of December.

Receives saline gargle RT-PCR samples from SAIL’s RPTS sample collection center and other mobile collection centers, Where citizens from different parts of rural and urban areas come. SAIL was also sequencing all the positive samples of district Nagpur since the month of August. The sequencing results of all these samples showed the presence of Delta and its sub-lineages.

The first Omicron virus patient in the city had come from West Africa via Delhi on the date of 3 December. Its sequencing results showed the same variant as the Omicron virus on the date of 12 December. The patient sample of the second Omicron virus has been confirmed by the NEERI-CCMB study. Strangely enough, the NMC had stopped sending suspected Omicron virus samples to NEERI. Thereafter, the cell continued to study the samples coming for the RT-PCR test.

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