The Tamil Nadu Directorate of Public health, in a statement, said that the Delta variant of COVID-19-causing coronavirus has now been totally replaced by the Omicron variant in the state.
The report of the state public health department said that 68.4 per cent of all whole-genome sequenced samples were of the BA.2 variant, while 15.2 per cent were of the BA.1.1 variant.
The other variants are BA.1 (10.3 per cent ), B.1.1.529 (6 per cent), and BA.3 (0.05 per cent). The whole-genome sequenced samples did not have any Delta variant, the statement said.
Interestingly, in January 2022, the Omicron variant represented 92 per cent of the samples, 4 per cent were of Delta, while the rest were of other variants.
The state public health department also said that Tamil Nadu will continue with its surveillance, and added that in Europe and the US, the BA.2 variant led to the surge in COVID cases and, hence, called upon the people not to lower their guards.
Fresh COVID-19 infections are on a decline in Tamil Nadu, with the state reporting only 33 new cases. Of the 38 districts in the state, 26 reported no new cases on Monday.
Tamil Nadu health minister Ma Subramanian, while speaking to IANS, said: “Even as there is no need to panic on the high incidences of BA.2 variant of Covid-19 in samples tested, we have directed all the district collectors to be on guard and to strictly monitor the situation in their respective districts in association with the district health officials and the district police authorities.”
On Monday, according to the public health department, the state tested 28,916 samples and only 33 cases were reported positive for Covid. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) was 0.1 per cent.
The Tamil Nadu health secretary, J. Radhakrishnan, told IANS: “Chennai, Vellore, and Chengalpattu have been showing variations even as there is a slump in the overall cases. Chennai district had recorded 19 positive cases on Sunday while it was only 12 on Saturday but the figures have again come down to 16 on Monday.”
He said that all the district collectors have been given an alert to review minor increases and the fluctuating number of fresh cases in certain districts, including Chennai.
The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.