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  4. COVID-19 updates: Omicron variant XBB.1.16 behind coronavirus surge in India | KNOW what study says

COVID-19 updates: Omicron variant XBB.1.16 behind coronavirus surge in India | KNOW what study says

COVID-19 updates: At the end of March 2023, XBB.1.16, a SARS-CoV-2 omicron XBB subvariant, emerged and was detected in various countries.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma New Delhi Updated on: April 08, 2023 18:08 IST
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Image Source : PTI/ REPRESENTATIONAL (FILE). COVID-19 updates: Omicron variant behind coronavirus surge in India | KNOW what study says.

COVID-19 updates: The latest preprint new study shows XBB.1.16 Omicron variant, which is behind the COVID-19 surge in India and will also spread worldwide in the near future, has an effective reproductive number (Re) 1.27 and 1.17-fold higher respectively than XBB.1 and XBB.1.5, suggesting that XBB.1.16 will spread worldwide in the near future.

"At the end of March 2023, XBB.1.16, a SARS-CoV-2 omicron XBB subvariant, emerged and was detected in various countries. Compared to XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16 has two substitutions in the S protein: E180V is in the N-terminal domain, and T478K in the receptor-binding domain (RBD). We first show that XBB.1.16 had an effective reproductive number (Re) that was 1.27- and 1.17-fold higher than the parental XBB.1 and XBB.1.5, respectively, suggesting that XBB.1.16 will spread worldwide in the near future." the study stated.

XBB.1.16 under WHO monitoring:

"In fact, the WHO classified XBB.1.16 as a variant under monitoring on March 30, 2023. Neutralization assays demonstrated the robust resistance of XBB.1.16 to breakthrough infection sera of BA.2 (18-fold versus B.1.1) and BA.5 (37-fold versus B.1.1). We then used six clinically-available monoclonal antibodies and showed that only sotrovimab exhibits antiviral activity against XBB subvariants, including XBB.1.16. Our results suggest that, similar to XBB.1 and XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16 is robustly resistant to a variety of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies," it read further.

"Our multiscale investigations suggest that XBB.1.16 that XBB.1.16 has a greater growth advantage in the human population compared to XBB.1 and XBB.1.5, while the ability of XBB.1.16 to exhibit profound immune evasion is comparable to XBB.1 and XBB.1.5." it said. 

Health Ministry review meeting: 

Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a review meeting with health ministers of all states and Union Territories through video conferencing on April 7.

Mandaviya asked all states to stay alert and remain prepared for the management of the disease.Mandaviya further urged the State Health Ministers to conduct mock drills of all hospital infrastructure on April 10 and 11 and review the health preparedness with district administrations and health officials on April 8 and 9. 

(With ANI inputs) 

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Delhi govt directs hospitals to ramp up testing amid surge in cases

ALSO READ: Covid Spike: 6,155 fresh infections in India, active cases climb to 31,194

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