Omicron BA.2 sub-lineage 30 pct more infectious, most dominant variant in Sarawak presently

File photo for illustration purpose only. Photo credit: Pixabay

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KUCHING, March 12: The people are strongly advised to be on guard against the heightened risk of community transmission of the BA.2 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant believed to be 30 per cent more infectious.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) director Prof Dr David Perera said this BA.2 sub-lineage has now replaced the original BA.1 Omicron variant as the dominating circulating strain in the State.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously indicated that this BA.2 sub lineage is 30 per cent more infectious than the already infectious original BA.1 Omicron Variant of Concern (VOC),” he said in his latest report to the chairman of Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today.

Dr Perera further said a total of 686 samples from Covid-19 positive cases had been successfully sequenced by the IHCM from Jan 11 to Feb 28 and all were detected as the BA.1.1 529 Omicron VOC.

These samples represented positive cases obtained statewide, he said.

“From these, several sub-lineages comprising of 16 BA.1, 339 BA. 1.1 and 331 BA.2 were detected respectively.

“Interestingly, over the last week of February, the BA.2 sub-lineage represented over 90 per cent of all samples sequenced that week.

“This strongly suggests that the BA.2 sub-lineage has now replaced the original BA.1 Omicron variant as the dominating circulating strain in Sarawak,” he explained.

In light of this development, the general public is strongly advised to be aware of the heightened risk of community transmission and they should get their booster shot immediately if they have not done so. — DayakDaily