16 Mar 2022 09:50

Stealth Omicron has every chance to become prevailing strain shortly - Russian health minister

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - Covid-19 sub-lineage Omicron BA.2, also known as stealth Omicron, has every chance to become a new prevailing strain in the near future due to its high transmissibility, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

"Given its higher transmissibility, Covid-19 sub-lineage Omicron BA.2 has every chance to become a prevailing strain shortly," Murashko told reporters on Wednesday.

"Monitoring of coronavirus strains reveals the existence of genetic lineages of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. At first, BA.1 was the prevailing strain in many countries, yet the Omicron BA.2 sub-lineage emerged as time passed and was called stealth because of its ability to spread faster in the population," he said.

Germany has been reporting record infections in the recent days. The Chinese authorities said on Monday that dozens of cities had registered a record number of cases. Most of these cases are diagnosed as Omicron BA.2, he said.

Scientific and clinical data suggest that people vaccinated for Covid-19, who have received booster shots, run a much lower risk of being infected and transmitting stealth Omicron, Murashko said.