Fri 17 March 2023:
The Israeli Health Ministry reported a new coronavirus variant on Friday. Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this new variant has taken the world by surprise. According to local media reports, two people returning from abroad were infected with the new Covid variant.
Upon their return to Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport, the couple had undergone a Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. The new coronavirus variant as per Israeli daily Haaretz is a combination of BA.1 or Omicron and BA.2 a sub-variant of Omicron.
Israeli Health Ministry reported that the patients had symptoms like fever, headache, and muscle aches. However, they did not require any specialised medical care. The patients, a couple in their 30s, reportedly contracted the infection from their infant.
The report further quotes Israel’s COVID czar Salman Zarka, saying that linking the two Covid variants is a common phenomenon and that they tend to “link up” when they are contracted and if both the variants are in the same cell in an individual’s body.
Zarka added that BA.1 and BA.2 variants also tend to multiply and exchange genetic material, and can form new Covid variants.
Last month, Israel’s Ministry of Health cancelled a mandate dealing with wearing face masks in medical facilities and nursing homes. However, people are still required to “wear a mask when travelling to an isolation accommodation (only if confirmed).” This is to remain in effect until May 15 2023.
Covid-19 XBB variant–XBB1.16
Scientists believe that a new descendant of the Covid-19 XBB variant–XBB1.16– could be behind the recent surge in coronavirus cases in India over the past few days. The fast-spreading variant has been detected in various countries including China, Singapore, the United States, and others.
An international platform tracking Covid variants stated that India reported the highest number of XBB 1.16 variant cases, currently, the tally stands at 48. Singapore and the US detected 14 and 15 cases respectively.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
FOLLOW INDEPENDENT PRESS:
TWITTER (CLICK HERE)
FACEBOOK (CLICK HERE)
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!