18 Apr 2023 20:06

Russia sees cases of new Covid-19 subvariant Arcturus believed to be more contagious

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) - Russia has recorded the first cases of the new XBB.1.16 coronavirus subvariant, known as Arcturus, which tentatively is more contagious but occurs in a milder form, the Russian consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

"The first genetic sequences attributed to this subvariant, which was earlier detected in India, have been added to the VGARus database. According to tentative information, Arcturus can have a higher degree of contagiousness but does not show high pathogenicity. In other words, the disease caused by the infection occurs in a mild form," the Rospotrebnadzor press service told reporters.

It is not planned to introduce any anti-epidemic restrictions due to the discovery of this new subvariant, the Rospotrebnadzor said.

According to the media, the new Arcturus subvariant has prompted an increase in the disease incidence in India. Cases of this subvariant have also been identified in the United States, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Israel, Britain, Germany, Spain, Thailand, China and other countries.