World Health Organization flags off new Omron sub-variant in India


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 7 July

The WHO has flagged a new sub-variant of Omicron named BA.2.75 in India and some other countries stating that fewer sequences are available but preliminary studies show some changes in the new sub-lineage.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke of sub-variant detection in India in his weekly press conference yesterday.

Globally, the number of weekly cases increased for the fourth consecutive week, following a declining trend since the last peak in March 2022.

During the week of June 27 to July 3, more than 4.6 million new cases were reported, the same as the previous week.

The number of new weekly deaths decreased by 12 percent, with more than 8,100 deaths.

At the regional level, the number of new weekly cases increased in the Eastern Mediterranean region (+29%), the Southeast Asia region (+20%), the European region (+15%), and the Western Pacific region (+4%). , while it decreased in the African region (-33%) and the Americas region (-18%).

The number of new weekly deaths increased in the Eastern Mediterranean region (+34%) and the South-East Asia region (+16%), while the African region (-50%) showed a decrease, the Americas region (-13%) , the European region (-12%) and the Western Pacific region (-12%). As of 3 July 2022, there have been over 546 million confirmed cases and over 6.3 million deaths globally.

The South-East Asia region has been reporting an increasing trend in cases since early June, with more than 1,57,000 new cases, a 20% increase from the previous week.

The highest number of new cases in Southeast Asia were reported from India (1,12,456 new cases; 8.1 new cases per 1,00,000; an increase of 21 percent), Thailand (15,950 new cases; 22.9 new cases per 1,00,000; 6 percent increase) and Bangladesh (13,516 new cases; 8.2 new cases per 100,000; up 53 percent).

The number of new weekly deaths in the region increased by 16 percent compared to the previous week, with more than 350 new deaths. The highest number of new deaths were reported from India (200 new deaths).

“Globally the reported cases have increased by almost 30 per cent in the last two weeks. Four of the WHO’s six sub-regions saw an increase in cases last week,” Ghebreyesus said.

On sub-variant BA.2.75, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that BA.2.75 was first reported from India and then from 10 other countries.

“It seems that this sub-version has some mutations on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein. So apparently, it is an important part of the virus that attaches itself to the human receptor. We have to see that. To know that It is still too early as to whether this subpopulation has additional immune evasion properties or is indeed more clinically severe,” she said.