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Yet again! Now alarm about new corona variants BA-4 and BA-5

Yet again! Now alarm about new corona variants BA-4 and BA-5

The pandemic does not seem to be over yet. The next variants of the corona virus are already on the rise. Cases have been reported in South Africa and some European countries. The WHO calls for surveillance.

Philipp Belschner
14 April 2022 11:27

The World Health Organization (WHO) is watching the next variants of the corona virus with eagle eyes. The subvariants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have already been detected in some countries, including South Africa and some European countries. The WHO still lists Delta and Omicron as “variants of concern”.

No serious illnesses

The WHO Covid-19 expert Maria van Kerkove also confirmed on Wednesday that the first cases of the new variants have already appeared. Studies should soon show whether the new variants spread faster than others and whether there are other, specific symptoms. It is also still unknown how well the vaccines in circulation against BA.4 and BA.5 work. There are no signs of severe disease progression in infected people, confirmed Kerkove. She called on countries to keep a close eye on the new subvariants.

Fewer tests have consequences

The WHO is concerned about the falling numbers in the tests. “We need to follow this virus closely in every single country,” said WHO Emergency Director Mike Ryan. The virus is still evolving, so new variants must be discovered quickly. The more tests that are done, the better cases can be detected and tracked. “We cannot afford to lose sight of the virus,” said Ryan.

Continued “Emergency of International Reach”

This is how WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus continues to classify the pandemic on the recommendation of his experts. The time to give the all-clear and lift the status is still too early, even for the emergency committee. The virus continues to spread rapidly. The head of the committee, Didier Houssin, confirmed in Geneva that the spread was “unpredictable”. He is critical of the lifting of the corona measures in some countries. He warned against “letting go of vigilance”. Politicians must “prepare for new challenges,” said the head of the emergency committee.

How do you assess the current pandemic situation?

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