Health Ministry issues warning on two infectious Omicron sub-variants

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) issued a warning today about two new sub-variants of the Covid-19 Omicron strain.

MoH said the new sub-variants, called Omicron BA.4 and Omicron BA.5, are more infectious than other Omicron sub-variants.

“The public is reminded not to neglect Covid-19 infection prevention measures to avoid the resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Always do self-risk assessments and take appropriate preventative measures,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The post was accompanied by a graphic titled “Avoid the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia!”

The graphic emphasised preventative measures such as: wearing a mask in enclosed spaces and crowded areas, taking the vaccine and booster doses including for those between the ages of five to 17-years-old, taking a second booster dose if one is high-risk and immunocompromised, taking care of one’s personal hygiene and application of TRIIS (test, report, isolate, inform, and seek treatment).

According to the South China Morning Post, Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 have become the dominant strain in the United States (US), reporting that they “exhibit the qualities of escape artists, able to elude some of the antibodies produced after coronavirus vaccinations and infections, including infections caused by some earlier versions of Omicron”.

However, despite the ability of the sub-variants to evade the response of antibodies, it is unsure whether they can cause more severe infections.