Pune: PMC Registers 476 Covid Cases, 5 Deaths Since January

Pune: PMC Registers 476 Covid Cases, 5 Deaths Since January

The state health department recently confirmed 91 cases of the KP.2 variant of Omicron, including 51 in Pune

Indu BhagatUpdated: Friday, May 17, 2024, 03:06 PM IST
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Pune: PMC Registers 476 Covid Cases, 5 Deaths Since January | Representative Image

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) shared its Covid data with The Free Press Journal on Friday, revealing that 476 Covid cases and five deaths have been recorded in the city since January 2024. The highest count, 227 cases, was registered in January, followed by 112 in March, 97 in February, and 32 in April. May has recorded eight cases so far, while all five deaths occurred in January.

Dr Bhagwan Pawar, Health Officer, PMC, stated, 'There is no alarming situation in Pune. We have strengthened routine checkups and reporting of Covid cases. Private hospitals have also been instructed to update Covid cases on the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal. Covid awareness programmes and precautionary measures have been implemented, and our routine surveillance programme is ongoing."

Meanwhile, the state health department recently confirmed 91 cases of the KP.2 variant of Omicron, including 51 in Pune. Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, the state's genome sequencing coordinator, mentioned that this is in addition to the JN.1, KP.2, and KP.1.1 sub-variants of Omicron recorded in Maharashtra. He explained that both KP.2 and KP.1.1 are sub-lineages of JN.1.

Thane has recorded 20 cases of the KP.2 sub-variant of Omicron, while Amravati and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar each reported seven cases. Additionally, two cases were reported in Solapur and one each in Sangli, Latur, Ahmednagar, and Nashik, he added.

Doctors have indicated that the KP.2 variant appears to be more transmissible but not more virulent. KP.1.1 and KP.2 strains are part of the new variant dubbed FLiRT. The nomenclature derives from specific mutations, with one strain denoted by "F" and "L" mutations, and the other by "R" and "T" mutations.

Dr Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist and Epidemiologist at PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, Mahim, stated, "There is no reason to believe that the FLiRT group of variants being reported are more virulent than the existing variants." He added, "KP.2 appears to be more transmissible." The doctor advised immunocompromised individuals to take precautions such as masking, avoiding crowded closed spaces, and managing comorbidities.

FLiRT variants belong to the Omicron lineage, which was highly transmissible and showed significant immune escape. First identified globally in January, KP.2 is a descendant of Omicron's JN.1. Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that KP.2 accounted for about 25 per cent of newly sequenced cases in the country in the last weeks of April.

Symptoms of the new variant typically include a sore throat, runny nose, congestion, tiredness, fever (with or without chills), headache, muscle pain, and sometimes loss of taste or smell.

KP.2 has replaced the previously circulating JN.1 variant and is now driving cases in several countries, including the US, UK, and Canada.

"While KP.2 may be the most predominant variant, it is not causing a massive increase in infections, as seen in the data from other countries," Dr Tushar Tayal, Lead Consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, said.

(With IANS inputs)

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