Ground Report | New Delhi: Covid variant South Korea; China and South Korea are experiencing its largest outbreak of covid recording over 4,00,000 infection cases on Wednesday since the start of the pandemic in Wuhan in January 2020.
According to state media updates, South Korea reported 400,741 daily new COVID-19 cases, the highest since the country reported its first COVID-19 case in January last year. Most of these new COVID cases were said to be transmitted locally.
All of these developments have been linked to the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus.
Now, Danish scientists believe that the BA.2 subvariant is 1½ times more transmissible than the original omicron strain and is already overtaking it. The BA.2 variant is now responsible for more than half of new cases in Germany and accounts for about 11% of cases in the US.
“It is clear that BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1 and this, combined with relaxation of mitigation measures and decreased immunity, is contributing to the current rise in infections,” said Lawrence Young, professor of molecular oncology. at the University of Warwick. he said.
“The increased infectivity of BA.2 is already overtaking and replacing BA.1, and we are likely to see similar waves of infection as other variants enter the population.”
A day earlier, South Korea endured its deadliest day of the pandemic with 293 deaths reported in 24 hours, the AP reported. Most of these cases were said to be locally transmitted, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant.
The numbers in China are much lower than those in South Korea, but the 3,290 new COVID-19 cases China reported on Wednesday, including 11 serious infections, were 10 times more than a week or so ago.
No COVID-related deaths have been officially reported in more than a year in China, where the first coronavirus case appeared in Wuhan in late 2019. But the country has been moving fast to avoid a possible wave of cases.
Citywide lockdowns have been imposed in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Langfang, and partial restrictions are in place in Shanghai and Xian. The entire Jilin province has also been put on lockdown.
More than 50 million residents of major cities are under stay-at-home order, while nearly 40 million people are under partial lockdown. Not wanting to be caught off guard, China has decided to free up hospital beds for a surge of patients requiring immediate care. (Covid variant South Korea)
The omicron variant was identified in November 2021 by researchers in South Africa. However, after a few weeks it was observed that this variant has three branches BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3.
Initially BA.1 was dominant, but today BA.2 is becoming more prevalent. This variant has been called the ‘stealth variant’. Although BA.2 does not cause more severe disease, it spreads more easily.
Under these circumstances, it is not clear when we would be free from the risk of the disease. If we want to rely on herd immunity, we need to find ways to keep immunity above the herd immunity threshold.
According to a study published in the journal Frontiers of Medicine on February 28, 2022, vaccination strategies must be adapted to this. To do this, the authors suggested increasing vaccination coverage and providing timely booster doses. They also prescribe research to understand the best combinations of booster shots and the best immunization strategies.
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