New Covid-19 Surge May Hit Australia, Three Omicron Sub Variants Found

The new Omicron sub variants – BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 – are likely to replace the existing BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants in Australia.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 – Australian health authorities have warned the country of a potential spike in Covid-19 cases and flu, amid the detection of three Omicron sub variants.

The Guardian yesterday reported that Omicron sub variants – BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 – have been identified in Australia. 

Although the severity of these sub variants is yet to be ascertained, the recently detected sub variants would replace the existing BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants in Australia, according to Associate Professor Stuart Turville from the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute.

The BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron sub variants significantly evaded Covid-19 antibody response acquired through vaccination and past infection. However, the impact of these sub variants was less severe.

Turville highlighted that the characteristics of these new sub variants, focusing on their transmissibility and ability to evade existing antibodies, should be studied over time.

“As with all variants, the key parameter to watch is disease severity and this data takes time to accumulate,” Turville was quoted as saying.

“There is still a lot about this virus that is unknown and there are many paths it has the potential to take.”

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has advised people who have contracted the coronavirus to wait at least three months before taking their Covid-19 vaccination.

It is important to note that Western Australia has eased all Covid-19 restrictions last week, including the indoor mask mandate in the state on April 29.

ABC News reported today that Western Australia registered a new peak of 9,782 daily Covid-19 cases yesterday, in less than a week after the abolishment of the mask mandate in the state. 

Although the Covid-19 hospitalisation rate in the state is still consistent, the rising number of cases in the community would eventually be a burden to the health care system, health authorities of the state said.

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