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Omicron BA.2 spreads faster than BA.1, but not severer: CU lecturer Thira


A respected teacher of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine urged the public on Wednesday to remain cautious about Covid-19, saying the new Omicron BA.2 substrain spreads 30 per cent faster than BA.1 although it does not cause more severe symptoms.

Doctor Thira Woratanarat advised people to continue wearing masks and strictly observe social distancing while refraining from visiting poorly ventilated crowded areas.

Thira made five BA.2 observations:

1. It can spread 30 per cent faster than the BA.1 subvariant.

2. Information from the United Kingdom and Denmark showed that BA.2 can cause 30 per cent more infections among family members compared to BA.1.

3. The disease severity of BA.2 is the same as BA.1.

4. The ability to build immunity against BA.2 is the same with BA.1.

5. BA.2 can be detected with standard tests.

The doctor noted that coronavirus cases globally have surpassed 415 million, with around 416 million reported by Wednesday. Global fatalities are 5.85 million.

He said although the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Update showed that weekly new cases had dropped by 19 per cent, fatalities had increased by 4 per cent.

Published : February 16, 2022