Just when we thought we were winning, Covid spits out new mutations
The good news, however, is that the number of infections from them is small and many variations have gone nowhere
The disclosure of new Covid-19 variants emerging in China and the rise of a potentially more transmissible strain in the UK have recast the spotlight on the ongoing risk of the virus, even as health experts say there’s no reason to panic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said a hybrid of two Omicron strains, BA.1 and BA.2, that was first detected in the UK and dubbed XE could be the most transmissible variant yet. It is estimated to spread 10% more easily than BA.2, which itself was more transmissible than the original Omicron, famous for its ease of penetration.
Meanwhile in China, which is experiencing its biggest outbreak since Wuhan, authorities have disclosed two novel Omicron subvariants that don’t match any existing sequences. It’s unclear if the infections are one-off events of little significance or a sign of problems ahead. ..