Omicron BA.2.12.1 Not A Variant Of Concern, Interest Or Under Monitoring: MOH
Singapore has seemingly seen the light at the end of the tunnel in our Covid-19 fight.
We’ve lowered the DORSCON level to yellow and relaxed numerous restrictions, bringing life almost back to normal.
However, something very small may or may not threaten our current state of relative idyll — a new Covid-19 variant.
Ominously, two cases of Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1 have been detected in Singapore.
Both of them are self-isolating, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
2 new cases are in community
The chilling news was revealed in a brief note by MOH on their website on Friday (29 Apr), next to their daily Covid-19 figures.
According to the message, the two fresh cases are in the community.
Thankfully, they self-isolated after testing positive, the ministry added.
The sub-variant was detected via active monitoring and genetic sequencing.
Not flagged by WHO
Amid the likely alarm caused by the discovery, MOH provided some assurance.
They said that BA.2.12.1 is currently not listed as a Variant of Concern, Variant of Interest or Variant Under Monitoring by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
However, a total of three cases have already been found in Singapore, according to The Straits Times (ST).
The first case was recorded in the middle of Apr.
BA.2.12.1 spreading widely in New York
BA.2.12.1 is a descendant of the BA.2 sub-variant.
That sub-variant was revealed to be in Singapore on 28 Jan, when MOH reported 198 cases.
It was also said to be more contagious than the BA.1 strain of Omicron, and quickly became the dominant strain across the world.
Since MOH’s report, BA.2 went on to drive an Omicron wave in Singapore that has only just subsided.
BA.2.12.1 is now spreading widely in New York, accounting for 77% of sequences by Apr, according to the state government.
Too soon to fret?
It remains to be seen whether BA.2.12.1 will cause a surge in Omicron cases in Singapore.
Thus, it may be too soon to start fretting over the possible impact it will have here, though it’s understandable that we don’t want our hard-won efforts to be wiped out once again.
At least we now have past experience that allows us to be prepared for new mutations and react accordingly.
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Featured image adapted from MS News.
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