MINSK, 9 August (BelTA) – The BA.5 ‘ninja' omicron subvariant has been detected in Belarus, Belarusian Deputy Healthcare Minister, Chief Sanitary Inspector Aleksandr Tarasenko told reporters, BelTA has learned.
“The omicron subvariant BA.5 dubbed ‘ninja' was detected in COVID-19 patients living in Vitebsk and Minsk. We can say that this subvariant is beginning to spread. The National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology is constantly monitoring the circulation of COVID-19 variants. We do not think we will have to modify our treatment protocols. Symptoms and severity of the COVID-19 disease seem to remain the same. However, mass media around the world report that this subvariant is the most contagious of all and very severe. Still, we believe that the Healthcare Ministry will not need to take any additional measures, apart from intensifying the vaccination campaign,” Aleksandr Tarasenko said.
The two people who contracted the ‘ninja' subvariant are showing mild symptoms. According to the deputy minister, the stealth omicron is going away, it accounts for 8% of all cases. At the same time, the dominant strain in Belarus is omicron, BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants (92%). All these subvariants were detected in South Africa.
The Healthcare Ministry recalled that the COVID-19 vaccines used in Belarus help protect people from severe disease.