New omicron sub-variants on the rise

In China, where the pandemic began, new sub-variants have led to recent increase in Covid, said a ministry source.

Cases across China are triggered by BF.7. The World Health Organization had given out a warning against the highly infectious sub-variant. It forecasts this sub-variant to become a new dominant strain of the virus.

The sub-variants —BF.7, BQ.1, XBB, and some combinations — have been reported from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka so far.

India saw a single-day rise of 1,946 coronavirus infections, while the active cases declined to 25,968, according to government data updated on Wednesday.

The two newly identified omicron subvariants, dubbed BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, are spreading fast in the New York region and could account for about 37% of new cases, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data crunched by NBC News.

The two variants accounted for 11.5% and 8% of new cases, respectively, that were recorded in the area in the week ending Oct. 15, up from 4.1% and 1.9% two weeks earlier. The New York area includes New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Combined, they accounted for 11.4% of overall U.S. cases in the same week. Before last Friday’s data release, they were included in BA.5 variant data, as the numbers were too small to break out. BQ.1 was first identified by researchers in early September and has been found in the U.K. and Germany, among other places. The CDC is updating the numbers every Friday.

“When you get variants like that, you look at what their rate of increase is as a relative proportion of the variants, and this has a pretty troublesome doubling time,” Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview with CBS News earlier this week.

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