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Omicron: BA.2 Variant Detected in 57 Countries, Says WHO

According to preliminary research, BA.2 is slightly more contagious than previous Omicron variants says World Health Organisation

Omicron: BA.2 Variant Detected in 57 Countries, Says WHO

Sentinel Digital Desk

NEW DELHI: A recently discovered subvariant of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus strain has now been detected in 57 countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a recently found sub-variant of the extremely contagious Omicron coronavirus strain has already been detected in 57 countries.

The UN's health agency reported on Tuesday in its weekly epidemiological bulletin that the sub-variant now accounts for more than half of all sequenced Omicron infections in several countries.

Preliminary statistics state BA.2 had "a modest increase in growth rate over BA.1," the first edition of the Omicron variety, said Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist and the WHO's technical lead on the coronavirus pandemic.

Omicron, a highly transmissible virus, is thought to cause less severe sickness than prior forms like Delta.

According to the WHO, Omicron has several sub-lineages that account for more than 93 percent of all coronavirus specimens collected in the last month: BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3. However, according to the organization, BA.2 has begun to spread quicker than BA.1 in portions of Europe and Asia.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO): "It is premature for any country to declare triumph or surrender. This virus is hazardous, and it is evolving right in front of our eyes. BA.2 is one of four sub-lineages of the Omicron variant that WHO is currently tracking."

When compared to the BA 2 variant, which was primarily dominant in the city during the first week of January, a study based on genome sequencing of Covid positive samples found that the original Omicron variant's sub-lineage BA 2 and second-generation sub-lineage BA 1.1 are spreading rapidly.

The study indicated that those who are unvaccinated or have completed six months post-second dosage and have not taken their precautionary third dose and have comorbidities could be seriously infected with the Omicron form, which was previously thought to only cause "milder symptoms."

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