“As many as four people have been detected with BA4 variant while eight people have been diagnosed with BA5 variant. All of them are isolated. We are closely monitoring these 12 people. They are all doing fine,” he told reporters.
He said those secondary contacts who came in contact with the primary contacts were identified and are being monitored by the health officials.
Stating that one case of BA4 variant was reported in Navalur, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Chennai about 15 days back, he said that patient was fully recovered.
“We have sent about 150 samples collected from people to the laboratory in Hyderabad and results have reached us directly from the lab. Four people have been diagnosed with BA4 variant while eight have tested positive for BA5 variant. So, two new variants of COVID-19 are reported in Tamil Nadu”, he said.
He clarified that the 12 individuals were doing well and Health department Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan telephoned them and enquired about their health condition.
“The Central government will officially announce the detection of these new variants.” he said.
To a query, Subramanian said all the 12 people hail from Chennai and neighbouring districts.
He clarified that apart from the 12 samples, the remaining samples (150) were detected to be of BA1 and BA2 variants.
Referring to emergence of COVID-19 clusters in educational institutions, he said the virus spread at IIT-Madras, Sathya Sai University, Poonamallee, were largely ‘contained’ while 23 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the campus of Anna University and till Saturday 196 COVID-19 cases were reported in the campus of VIT, Kilambakkam.
“All those tested positive have been isolated and are being monitored by health officials. Those who came in contact with them have also been isolated and monitored,” he said.
Subramanian said apart from educational institutions, emergence of COVID-19 cluster were seen in some residential localities in Chennai, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur districts.
“We (Health department officials) inspected an apartment in Thiyagaraya Nagar in Chennai were six people have tested coronavirus positive. We expect them to test negative in one or two days after they are tested again,” he said.
Underlining the need to adhere to COVID-19 protocols, he said public should stay cautious as the Omicron variant has the ability to spread faster. “It is necessary that people stay cautious,” he added.