13 May 2022 17:12

Stealth Omicron detected in Kazakhstan - Health Ministry

NUR-SULTAN. May 13 (Interfax) - Cases of the stealth Omicron sub-lineage of the novel coronavirus have been detected in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Health Ministry said on Friday.

"PCR screening conducted in April-May of this year revealed the circulation of various variants of the novel coronavirus. The Omicron sub-lineage BA.1 has been detected in all regions, amounting to 98.6%, including 36.7% of the stealth Omicron BA.2 sub-lineage detected in 12 regions. The Delta variant B.1.617 remains in circulation and amounts to 1.4% of all tested samples," the ministry said.

Polygene sequencing is being conducted to confirm PCR screening results. It will be finalized by the end of this month, the ministry said.

"The epidemiological situation has stabilized but the ministry strongly recommends timely vaccination for Covid-19 and booster shots. Please note that people who completed their vaccination six months ago or earlier need booster shots," the ministry said.

Kazakhstan offers three vaccines - Pfizer, Sinopharm and QazVac - to its residents. Two of these vaccines are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).