In a recent tweet, WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove mentioned "so far, we haven't detected any changes in the epidemiology or severity of BA.4 or BA.5 compared to previous sub-lineages of Omicron. But this may change!"
The World Health Organization (WHO) have notified the evolution of two new Omicron sub-variants (BA.4 and BA.5), which are being reported from different parts of the world. As per experts, in terms of epidemiology or severity, the new variants are not very different from the previous sub-lineages of Omicron. This comes at a time when parts of Asia and Europe are witnessing a massive COVID surge led by the Omicron BA.2 sub-variant.
Earlier this week, South African scientists notified two new sublineages -BA.4 and BA.5. Tulio de Oliveira, who runs gene-sequencing institutions in the country, however, notified that the lineages have not caused a spike in infections in South Africa. So far, the sub-variants have been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and U.K.
The WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "This virus has over time become more transmissible and it remains deadly, especially for the unprotected and unvaccinated that don't have access to health care and antiviral"."Given the very low infections, hospitalizations and deaths in South Africa we are alerted about the continued evolution but not concerned," de Oliveira said. "All of the laboratory science on virus neutralization and vaccines are already underway and we are strengthening genomic surveillance."
On Wednesday, the Covid-19 emergency committee at the WHO unanimously affirmed that Covid remains a major public health danger.
Globally, in the week to Sunday, the number of new Covid-19 cases and deaths continued to decline for a third consecutive week. But, some countries continue to report serious spikes in cases, which is putting pressure on hospitals. The world health agency further insisted that countries must stop dropping their guard.
The WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "This virus has over time become more transmissible and it remains deadly, especially for the unprotected and unvaccinated that don't have access to health care and antiviral". Along with this, Ghebreyesus also urged everyone to get vaccinated and maintain all the Covid precautions like wearing mask and maintaining social distance.