Omicron Subvariant BA.5 is Rising in Hong Kong

COVID-19

BA.5 Omicron Subvariant Cases on the Rise

Spokesperson of the Centre for Health Protection Chuang Shuk-kwan announced on Sunday that there is a growing likelihood the Omicron subvariant known as BA.5 will become the main circulating strain in the city.

Chuang refers to findings from the World Health Organization to support the supposition, explaining that the BA.5 subvariant has higher transmissibility than other strains. However, there is still no clear evidence that the strain is more damaging or deadly.

It has been reported that the BA.4 and BA.5 strains make for up to 10% of local cases, as reflected in results from 1,410 nucleic acid tests and 2,625 verified rapid antigen tests.

At this stage, available vaccines seem to still be effective in preventing severe illnesses and deaths caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. Chuang reinforces the importance of citywide inoculation, adding: “I would take this opportunity to urge people who have not yet completed their vaccination to receive it as soon as possible.”

Considering infections, an unidentified kindergarten has been advised to halt in-person lessons for a particular cohort during the week ahead. High viral loads were also discovered amongst buildings in Wan Chai, Kwun Tong, Yuen Long, in addition to Eastern and Southern districts, which will be receiving consignments of rapid test kits for dispersal.

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