The new BA.2 form of Omicron not more severe than the original BA.1: WHO
The emerging BA.2 form of the Omicron coronavirus variant does not seem to be any more severe than the original BA.1 form, an official of the World Health Organisation said, Reuters reported.
According to the report, the WHO cautioned countries eager to lift coronavirus precautions, saying Omicron hasn’t yet peaked in many countries.
World Health Organization Director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “It’s premature for any country either to surrender or to declare victory. This virus is dangerous, and it continues to evolve before our very eyes. WHO is currently tracking four sub-lineages of the Omicron variant, including BA.2.”
The emerging BA.2 form of the Omicron coronavirus variant does not seem to be any more severe than the original BA.1 form, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.
WHO technical lead for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove: “There’s no indication that there’s a change in severity. Again, omicron overall we know is more transmissible, it has more growth advantage and causes less severe disease than Delta. But it’s still a very dangerous virus.”
The comments come as the BA.2 version of Omicron begins to replace the more common “original” BA.1 version in countries such as Denmark, the report said.
These two main lineages of Omicron differ from each other by more than 40 point mutations. BA.2 was first identified in South Africa in early December.
BA.2 is more transmissible than the more common BA.1 and more able to infect vaccinated people, according to a Danish study that analyzed infections in more than 8,500 Danish households between December and January.
Van Kerkhove: “We need people to be aware that this virus is continuing to circulate, and it’s continuing to evolve.”
WHO officials said vaccines, masking and social distancing are still effective tools to fight the virus, the report said.