19 Jul 2022 14:35

Russia sees increase in Covid-19 incidence amid spread of new Omicron sub-variants

MOSCOW. July 19 (Interfax) - Russia is seeing an increase in newly identified cases due to the spread of new sub-variants of the Omicron strain of coronavirus, with the disease being more often mild when infected with sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, Russian consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

"Due to the spread of new sub-variants of the Omicron strain, an increase in the number of newly detected cases of Covid-19 is observed but the disease caused by sub-variants BA.4/BA.5 most often has a mild form as an acute respiratory infection," Rospotrebnadzor's press service told reporters following a department conference call.

By the end of the 28th week of the year, 29,536 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Russia, it said. The morbidity rate stood at 20.13 per 100,000 people, which is 30.2% higher than last week, and 25.9% higher than the average for the past four weeks.

The average incidence rates were reportedly exceeded in 26 regions, the watchdog said.

In the structure of morbidity over the past two weeks, BA.1 lineage of the Omicron gene variant accounted for 1.85% of tests, BA.2 lineage (stealth Omicron) - 45.74%, BA.4/BA.5 lineage - 51.67% to the Delta gene variant - 0.73%.

"The Covid-19 epidemic situation, including the spread of new sub-variants of the Omicron strain, is under the strict control of Rospotrebnadzor," the watchdog said.