BA.2 sub variant of Omicron becoming dominant strain in Thailand

Photo: The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

The BA.2 sub variant of the COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across Thailand and is replacing the BA.1 as the dominant sub variant. Medicine which is effective against the Delta variant and BA.1 is not as effective against the BA.2, according to Director-General of the Medical Sciences Department Dr. Supakit Sirilak.

Dr. Supakit said that BA.2 now accounts for 51.8% of Omicron cases and the rest (48.2%) are the BA.1, a clear indication that BA.2 is spreading faster than BA.1.

He also said that the Omicron variant now represents 99.6% of all COVID-19 cases in Thailand and is now spreading in every province, adding that of 1,898 cases tested last week, only seven cases were Delta variant.

Dr. Supakit also said that the World Health Organization has not concluded that BA.2 is more serious than BA.1, but BA.2 is 1.4 times more transmissible than BA.1 and is spreading 10% more within households.

BA.2 has been found to be slightly resistant to vaccines and Monoclonal Antibody treatment, which is expensive and has been used effectively against BA.1 and Delta, but has been found to be ineffective against BA.2.


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