The UK’s HSA has not classified the latest BA.2.86 Covid variant as a “variant of concern” as it does not meet the HSA’s definition; the agency held that there is a wide range of possibilities for growth fitness.
BA.2.86 is causing concern among scientists as the new Covid variant has over 30 mutations, the biggest evolutionary jump and most striking strain since Omicron. BA.2.86 has been reported in the UK, US, Denmark, and Israel in people without travel history.
Four local XBB cases have been detected in Malaysia as Covid infections begin increasing; MOH recommends that those aged 18 and older get a second Covid booster shot six months after the first. Pfizer’s bivalent vaccine is expected to arrive in November.
The narrative of "living with Covid" with limited communication on long-term health damage has made many complacent. We need to be familiar with the latest science and evidence and live our lives accordingly.