The virologist Marc Van Ranst has made an announcement that one case of the latest variant of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 (BA.4) has been recorded in Belgium.
There was no major cause for alarm. The World Health Organization-WHO has called for the close monitoring of the BA.4 as well as BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, which were found in South Africa.
Moreover, Van Ranst has mentioned in a statement after Tulio de Oliveira of the Centre for Epidemic Response & Innovation (CERI) in South Africa has stated that the sub-variants had already been detected in Botswana, Germany, Denmark, as well as the UK, “So far, one BA.4 infection has been found in Belgium.”
WHO vraagt om BA.4 en BA.5 subvarianten van Omikron nauwgezet op te volgen. Deze subvarianten werden ontdekt in Z-Afrika, en komen nu ook sporadisch in andere landen voor. In België werd tot nu toe één BA.4 teruggevonden.
— Marc Van Ranst (@vanranstmarc) April 11, 2022
The BA.4 case in Belgium was detected in the French-speaking part of the nation. It was noticed by the ULB university in Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles) in the previous week.
The new version of the variant of the COVID-19 infection is more or less pathogenic as compared to BA.2 version is not yet revealed but accounts for the vast majority (95,7%) of coronavirus infections in the county. It is too early to say.
Furthermore, Van Ranst has mentioned in the statement, “It is normal for viruses to mutate and generate sub-variants. At present, there is no cause to believe that BA.4 or BA.5 behave differently from BA.1 or BA.2 clinically or in terms of vaccine protection.”
According to Oliviera, there is no cause for alarm as no significant spike in cases, admissions or deaths has been registered in South Africa.
On the other hand, the healthcare expert has highlighted on social media, “The complex Immunity landscape in South Africa, with high population immunity, is probably one of the main causes of the low infections, hospitalization, and deaths since the Delta and Omicron BA.1 wave.”
Meanwhile, he also said that it is very soon to know how the mutations in these two sub-variants will impact epidemiology.