New COVID sub-variant BA 2.75 detected in India, says WHO

United Nations/Geneva, July 07 (KMS): A new sub-lineage BA 2.75 of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in countries like India and the World Health Organisation is following this, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“On COVID-19, globally reported cases have increased nearly 30 percent over the past two weeks. Four out of six of the WHO sub-regions saw cases increase in the last week,” Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

He went on to say, “In Europe and America, BA.4 and BA.5 are driving waves. In countries like India a new sub-lineage of BA.2.75 has also been detected, which we’re following.”

So far 10 states have reported BA.2.75 variants including Delhi and Maharashtra and it has already been declared a variant of concern.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan hinted that it looks different from the previous variants but said, ‘it is too early to say whether it can cause severe infections.’

On the emergence of the potential Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75, Soumya Swaminathan said in a video posted on Twitter that there has been an emergence of a sub-variant that is being called the BA.2.75 “first reported from India and then from about 10 other countries.”

She said there are still limited sequences available of the sub-variant to analyse, “but this sub-variant seems to have a few mutations on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein. So obviously, that’s a key part of the virus that attaches itself to the human receptor. So we have to watch that. It’s still too early to know if this sub-variant has properties of additional immune evasion or indeed of being more clinically severe. We don’t know that.”

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