By Linus Garg
First publised on 2022-12-21 14:01:08
BF.7 is not a short code some college girls use to refer to their boyfriend number 7. It is the dreaded Omicron variant that has been driving the surge in fresh Covid cases in China. The bad news is that three cases of BF.7 infection were detected in India in October. Two of these cases were from Gujarat and the other from Odisha. The Centre had yesterday advised states to send all Covid infection samples to Insacog labs for genome sequencing. It is not immediately known whether persons found infected with BF.7 variant had retruned from abroad or isolation and contact tracing was done after the infection was detected.
The government has ordered random sampling of passengers arriving from China and some other countries and this has begun at most international airports in the country from today. The move came after Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a review meeting with ministry officials to assess the Covid situation in the country. Mandaviya also warned that Covid is not over yet and asked the people to remain alert.
Although experts have said that there is no need to panic, yet it is in one's own interest to follow Covid protocols as prescribed by the government - go out of the house if it is absolutely necessary, avoid crowded places, wear masks and sanitize hands frequently. Also, do not ignore symptoms like fever and cough and cold and get a test done if in doubt. If Covid is detected, remain isolated for at least 7 days but preferably for 14 days. Remember, although it may sound like a cliche, it is better to be safe than be sorry. Although people in India have hybrid immunity (through natural infection and vaccination) against Covid, some newer variants may pierce the vaccine shield. Hence, it is better to remain alert and not let your guard down.