Concerns about an increase in cases during the COVID-19 pandemic have been heightened by the emergence of a new Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 that joined the previously reported BF.7 as a source of public health concern. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise intermittently throughout the ongoing pandemic, likely because of the continuous introduction of SARS-CoV-2 subtypes. The present study analyzed the Indian citizen’s perceptions of the latest covid variants XBB.1.5 and BF.7 using the natural language processing technique, especially topic modeling and sentiment analysis. The tweets posted by Indian citizens regarding this issue were analyzed and used for this study. Government authorities, policymakers, and healthcare officials will be better able to implement the necessary policy effectively to tackle the XBB 1.5 and BF.7 crises if they are aware of the people’s sentiments and concerns about the crisis. A total of 8,54,312 tweets have been used for this study. Our sentiment analysis study has revealed that out of those 8,54,312 tweets, the highest number of tweets (n = 3,19,512 tweets (37.3%)) about COVID variants XBB.1.5 and BF.7 had neutral sentiments, 3,16,951 tweets (37.1%) showed positive sentiments and 2,17,849 tweets (25.4%) had negative sentiments. Fear of the future and concerns about the immunity of the vaccines are of prime concerns to tackle the ongoing pandemic.
XBB 1.5, BF.7, Omicron Subvariants, Natural Language Processing, Sentiment Analysis, Topic Modeling, Twitter-based Analysis
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