Covid fourth wave scare: Tamil Nadu reports 12 cases of BA.4, BA.5 variants

New Delhi: The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday (June 5) said 12 more samples have tested positive for Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. Tamil Nadu Medical and Family Welfare minister Ma Subramanian said out of the 150 samples collected from the state, 12 have tested positive for the Omicron variants– BA.4 and BA.5– of the coronavirus. “We have sent about 150 samples collected from people to the laboratory in Hyderabad and results have reached us directly from the lab. Four people have been diagnosed with BA.4 variant while eight have tested positive for BA.5 variant. So, two new variants of COVID-19 are reported in Tamil Nadu”, he was quoted as saying by PTI. Subramanian said the patients, who hail from Chennai and neighbouring districts, have been isolated and are doing fine. 

Further, the minister informed that the health officials are monitoring the secondary contacts who came in contact with the primary contacts of the patients. 

The state health minister also said that the one case of the BA.4 variant earlier detected in May in Chennai’s Navalur has fully recovered.

Tamil Nadu Health department Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan contacted all 12 people who tested positive for the Omicron subvariants, Subramanian said. “The Central government will officially announce the detection of these new variants,” he added. 

Earlier, Radhakrishnan told the district collectors that the spurt in coronavirus cases in family clusters was an “indicator of the waning immunity”. In his letter, he also asked the district collectors to take measures to stem the transmission and ensure that people wear masks, maintain physical distancing and follow sanitation like washing hands regularly, IANS reported. 

The caution comes as Covid-19 cases are increasing in Tamil Nadu. On Saturday, the state reported 105 new coronavirus infections that pushed the caseload to 34,55,976. The death toll remained unchanged at 38,025 with no new fatalities. The active cases in the state stand at 799 active cases, a medical bulletin said.

Meanwhile, in order to improve the vaccination rate, the Health department plans to conduct a mega inoculation drive on June 12 by organising over one lakh vaccination camps across the state. 

(With agency inputs)

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