BA.2.75 Omicron sub-variant causing “concern” for authorities in SE Asia

The UN and the World Health Organisation is actively following a new sub-lineage designated BA.2.75, another variant of the Omicron derivative of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2 ).

It was first detected in India and has since been found in 10 other countries. The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus, noted that new Covid-19 infections, globally, have increased nearly 30% over the past two weeks.

“In Europe and America, BA.4 and BA.5 are driving waves. In countries like India a new sub-lineage of BA.2.75 has also been detected, which we’re following.”

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan says that there has clearly been the emergence of a sub-variant that is being called the BA.2.75.

“There are still limited sequences available of the sub-variant to analyse but this sub-variant seems to have a few mutations on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein.”

“It’s still too early to know if this sub-variant has properties of additional immune evasion or indeed of being more clinically severe. We don’t know that.”

The scientist noted that the WHO is now actively tracking BA.2.75 and the WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution is “constantly looking at the data from around the world”.

Speaking about the general spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants, Soumya Swaminathannoted that cases in SE Asia showed an increasing trend since early June.

“Over 157,000 new cases reported, a 20% increase as compared to the previous week. 5 of 10 countries, for which data are available, shows increases in the number of new cases of 20% or greater.”

Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh are showing notable increases where immune escape and an increased transmissibility are causing concern.

WHO Covid-19 Incident Manager Abdi Mahamud says people should be careful not to assume that the coronavirus pandemic is over.

“Now is not the time to declare that the pandemic is over… and the virus has a lot of force left.”

“Whether it is the BA.4 or BA.5 or BA.2.75, the virus will continue. It does what it does good… and people and communities must continue to wear masks, avoid crowds and ensure that the most vulnerable and high-risk population is protected. “

Asia News

Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.