India finds 11 Omicron subvariants of Covid-19 in international travellers

NEW DELHI: India detected a total of 11 subvariants of Covid-19 in international travellers who arrived in the country during Dec. 24 to Jan. 3, health ministry sources said on Thursday, adding they were a mix of new and existing variants.

The variants detected were all sublineages of Omicron variant of Covid, including the BA.5.2 subvariant and a sublineage of BF.7 subvariant that were driving China's recent coronavirus outbreak.

Hundreds of Covid-19 variants are currently circulating globally, but a handful that are of concern and are being monitored.

Of the 19,227 passengers who were tested for Covid-19 during the period, 124 were found positive, the sources said.

The Indian government has made a Covid-19 negative test mandatory for arrivals from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

The new requirement is in addition to the random tests on 2 per cent of all international passengers arriving in India.--REUTERS

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