According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director, WHO, more than 30 per cent of the increase in daily reported cases of COVID-19 is thought to be caused by the new Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75.
The new Omicron sub-variant: All you need to know
In recent months there has been an increase in mutations causing the second-generation mutation of Omicron to result in new variants of the virus, the B.A. 2.75 is a result of these mutations.
India was one of the first countries where the sub-variant was reported, followed by ten others. Aside from the fact that the new variant has a receptor-binding domain of the spike protein that attaches itself to human receptors, it has also been noted that due to the limited sequences of the sub-variant, it is difficult to comment much on it as of now.
The BA.2.75 sub-variant has been identified in 10 different Indian states to date. With 27 cases reported from Maharashtra, the other states that have reported cases of the sub-variant are West Bengal with 13, Karnataka with 10, Madhya Pradesh with seven and Delhi with one or two recorded instances. The 18 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases in India, particularly in regions like Maharashtra and Karnataka is still mostly linked to the new variant’s rapid spread.
Is B.A 2.75 a variant of concern?
A variant of concern has traditionally been described as one that is more contagious, and due to the Omicron variant’s fast transmissibility, the sub-variant does fit under a variant of concern. The limited study on the new variant would be another reason to worry.
The WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is now monitoring the new strain and reviewing data from all across the world.
How can I protect myself from this variant?
One must exercise caution to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus by following COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), adopting preventative measures, wearing a mask for protection, using hand sanitiser, and attempting to avoid large gatherings where the virus may be circulating.