Omicron BA.2 will not cause another COVID-19 surge: Health expert

new Delhi: As India reports a high number of Omicron BA.2 cases, a top health expert has said that it is not a cause for concern as it will not lead to another COVID-19 surge in the country.

Speaking to ANI, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman, National IMA COVID Task Force said that BA.2 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant, which fueled the third wave in the country. According to him, BA.2 cannot infect people who previously had the BA.1 sub-variant of COVID-19.

Jayadevan said, “This will not lead to another surge. Ba.2 is not able to infect people who had Ba.1. It is not a new virus or strain. Ba.2 is a sub-lineage of Omicron.” “

The expert further stated that BA.2 will be more permeable than BA.1 and it has mutated to increase its transmittance.
“BA.2 is slightly more permeable than BA.1. Over the past two years, it has evolved to continually increase its fitness, which is its ability to infect more people and surpass natural immunity and vaccination immunity. ,” They said. said.

Jayadevan also said that the Omicron variant showed that vaccine immunity “can easily overtake the variant” and that this trend will continue to be seen in the future, if new variants emerge after the virus has mutated.

“Omicron showed that vaccine immunity can also be easily overcome by variants and this trend is to be expected in the future as new variants arrive. But both ba.1 and ba.2 have the ability to evade immunity, which means that ba. Meaning if you are naturally infected, or if you have been vaccinated or both, this virus can still infect us,” he said.

Elaborating on the nature of BA.2, Dr. Jayadevan said, “It is a sub-lineage of Omicron and is essentially identical to Omicron which was identified in South Africa in November. It now includes BA.1, BA. 2 and BA is 3.”

He also said that the virus will be around for a very long time.

“The virus is going to be around. It will fluctuate for a very long time. When the next version comes out, there will be a surge. We don’t know when it will happen, but history says it can happen once. Inevitably Six to eight months and it usually works like that.”

“But until then, we are in the low stage of the omicron. However, we must remember that this virus is around, which means we must do everything possible to prevent it from infecting us,” he said.

Citing a study done on hamsters in Japan, Dr. Jayadevan said that BA.2 can cause serious lung disease.

“To date, Omicron’s symptoms do not differ between BA.1 and BA.2. So there is no difference in severity. However, there is a study done on hamsters from Japan. In this study, hamsters showed that BA.2 involved more lungs than BA.1.”

On the trend of Omicron Ba.2 cases globally, he said, “It is believed that Ba.2 is on the rise in India. But in many other Asian countries in the region and across Europe, the prevalence is gradually increasing.” , especially in Denmark. . There has also been a slight increase in the United States and Britain.” (ANI)

First published:February 21, 2022, 6:44 PM

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