2 cases of new Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75 found in Singapore: MOH

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SINGAPORE - Two imported Covid-19 cases here have been confirmed to be infected with a new Omicron sub-variant called BA.2.75, as at Thursday (July 14).

Both individuals had recently travelled to India and had immediately self-isolated after testing positive for Covid-19, said the Ministry of Health on Saturday in response to queries by The Straits Times.

They have since fully recovered.

The emerging Omicron sub-variant was first detected in India in early May.

The BA.2.75 variant, nicknamed "Centaurus", has been detected in other countries like the United States, Britain, Australia, Germany and Canada.

Scientists have reportedly said the BA.2.75 variant may be able to spread rapidly and get around immunity from vaccines and previous infection.

The BBC reported on Friday that it was not yet clear whether this sub-variant was one to worry about or not.

MOH said there is currently no evidence to indicate the sub-variant has substantially different virulence or severity compared with its Omicron predecessors.

The ministry noted that as at Thursday, the World Health Organisation has classified BA.2.75 as an Omicron sub-variant under monitoring.

The Guardian reported that WHO's chief scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, said there were not yet enough samples to assess its severity.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control designated the BA.2.75 variant as a variant under monitoring on July 7.

This means there are indications it could be more transmissible or associated with more severe disease, but the evidence is weak or has not yet been assessed.

In Singapore, as at Saturday noon, there were 9,153 new Covid-19 cases recorded, according to MOH's daily update.

The week-on-week infection ratio is 1.03.

There were 771 patients hospitalised, with 17 in intensive care and 98 requiring oxygen support.

There were three deaths reported.

Of the new local cases, 762 were detected through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Another 7,929 were detected through antigen rapid tests (ART), which means they had no symptoms or their symptoms were mild.

There were 462 new imported cases, with 45 detected through PCR tests and 417 through ART.

Singapore has recorded a total of 1,589,099 Covid-19 cases and 1,450 deaths.

See the full update from MOH here.

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