Health scientists are beginning to raise concerns about a new sub-variant of Covid that was first detected in India and has quickly spread to other parts of the world.
A variant of the Omicron, referred to as the Centaurus or BA.2.75, first appeared in India in May.
It has since spread to about 10 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) Soumya Swaminathan said the subvariant appears to have mutations in the spike protein receptor binding domain.
“This is a key part of the virus that has attached itself to the human receptor, so we have to keep an eye on it,” Swaminathan said.
At the same time, she stressed that it is too early to panic about a new wave of infections.
“It is still too early to know whether this sub-variant has additional immune evasion properties or is more severe clinically.”
She said the WHO is tracking the sub-option from around the world. Once she has enough data, the WHO will decide if Centauri is a dangerous option.
There are other health scientists who are concerned about the increased transmissibility of the new variant.
This was stated by the director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva, Antoine Flao. AFP that the distribution of Centaurus in India indicates that it may be more contagious than the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant that is making waves in Europe and the US.
“It seems to be becoming the dominant strain in India. The question is, will it become the dominant strain worldwide?”
New Covid Rules
The arrival of the sub-variant of Centaurus comes as countries around the world, including South Africa, dramatically eased their Covid restrictions.
Lockdowns have been reintroduced in parts of China following new outbreaks of Covid across the country.
China on Saturday reported its highest number of coronavirus cases since May, with the Omicron variant dominating.
Renaissance in South Africa
Professor Shabir Madhi, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, warned South Africa about the emergence of a subvariant of Centaurus, despite the fact that no cases of the disease have yet been identified in the country.
“This could lead to a resurgence even in a country like South Africa, although we have not yet identified a case of this sub-variant of the virus, but again it is unlikely that we will now face massive numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. that 90% of people in South Africa have gained some type of immunity against the virus, either from vaccines or infection,” Madhi said. Radio 702.
“For example, in South Africa, if you are over 15 years of age and have other comorbidities, you will be strongly advised to get an additional dose of the vaccine now before the sub-option appears in South Africa.”