NewsCoronavirus: New variant discovered in Israel - combination of...

Coronavirus: New variant discovered in Israel – combination of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2

The corona variant from Israel, which apparently combines omicron subtypes BA.1 and BA.2, is said to only trigger mild symptoms.

Jerusalem – A previously unknown corona subtype has appeared in Israel. This combines the omicron variant BA.1 and the even more contagious subtype BA.2, but does not seem to trigger any severe symptoms, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday (03/16/2022). According to the report, the new variant was discovered by PCR tests on two people arriving at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport who were suffering from fever, headaches and muscle pain. However, special medical care is not necessary.

According to information from Israel’s corona advisor Salman Zarka, the combination of two virus variants is a common phenomenon. “At this stage we are not worried that the new variant could lead to serious cases,” he said on Israeli military radio.

New corona variant discovered: subtype BA.2 drives up the number of cases in Germany

The more contagious BA.2 subtype of the omicron variant is currently spreading in many states. According to experts, the contagion is about 40 percent higher. In Germany, for example, the Robert Koch Institute reported 1,607 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week on Wednesday (March 16, 2022). In the previous week the number was 1319.

The sharp increase in numbers is apparently also due to the easing of the pandemic requirements. An increase can also be seen among older people, most recently also in old people’s and nursing homes. However, the numbers are highest for school-age children, adolescents and adults up to the age of 34. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), however, it does not lead to severe disease progression more frequently than the BA.1 type subvariant.

New corona variant from omicron subtype BA.1 and BA.2 – extensive relaxations around the world

According to his office, Prime Minister Naftali Bennet had convened a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Health on Wednesday (March 16, 2022) due to the worldwide increase in coronavirus infections. Israel abolished its Covid vaccination card in February and was the first country in the world to reopen its borders to unvaccinated people in early March. Foreigners have to take a PCR test before they start their journey and then again when they enter the country, Israeli citizens only need a PCR test on arrival.

New Zealand also recently relaxed its entry rules. After more than two years of pandemic-related border closures, Australian tourists will be allowed to enter the country again for the first time from April 12th. Tourists from Germany and other visa-waiver countries have to wait until May. (tk with dpa/AFP)

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