11 Apr 2022 16:12

Share of stealth Omicron in Russia increases to 90% - Rospotrebnadzor expert

MOSCOW. April 11 (Interfax) - The share of the stealth Omicron coronavirus variant in Russia exceeds 90%, Kamil Khafizov, the head of the scientific group for developing new methods of diagnostics using sequencing technologies of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, told reporters.

"The share of stealth Omicron in Russia now exceeds 90% of all new cases of the disease, but there is no considerable increase in the sickness rate despite the broad distribution of this subline," Khafizov said.

The absence of a considerable increase in the sickness rate "is largely due to the fact that a considerable number of people already had the new coronavirus infection at the beginning of this year or earlier, and many are also vaccinated, and therefore most people had the disease in a fairly light form," he said.

An immune layer that prevents the virus from actively spreading in the population was created in the country as a result of that, the expert said.

"But one needs to understand that immunity is not eternal. It weakens over time, and it means 'immune memory,' protection against the virus needs to be updated. That is, revaccination will most likely be needed, or we will get sick again, acquiring immunity using ways which pose more health risks," Khazivov said.

According to Rospotrebnadzor's data, the share of stealth Omicron in Russia was some 80% on April 5, while the Omicron strain accounts for 94% of the cases in the entire structure of the sickness.