Covid-19’s AY.4.2 variant is less than 0.1 per cent of all variants of concern and variant of interest (VOC/VOI), and thus, too low to be of concern at this time, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) has said.
The INSACOG weekly bulletin said that with the low frequency of the new AY.4.2 variant, it is not the matter of concern at this time.
“There is no change to the global scenario. Delta, including B.1.617.2 (AY) and AY.x sublineages, continues to be the main VOC globally,” it said, adding that they are also the main VOC in India, where no variant has been noted.
There is currently no biological basis for increased transmissibility of AY.4.2, as judged epidemiologically, and assays are in progress.
The vaccine effectiveness does not seem to be different for AY.4.2 when compared to other Delta variants, it added.
The weekly bulletin said that AY.4.2 frequency in Indian data varies based on the definition used (PHE vs PANGO). Other than lineage-based tracking, Delta variants with immune escape mutations are also being tracked by INSACOG, some of which are also being seen by UKHSA, it added.
The total number of samples processed so far is 93,782, while 93,782 samples have been sequenced and 91,729 samples have been analysed by INSACOG.
INSACOG is a consortium of 28 national laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in SARS-CoV-2, the Covid-19 causing virus. The pan-India network functions under the Union Health Ministry.