Singapore detects two cases of new Omicron subvariant

Singapore detects two cases of new Omicron subvariant

Singapore: Singapore has confirmed two COVID-19 cases with the new Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 through active monitoring of the disease and genetic sequencing for surveillance, the Channel News Asia reported.

The two community cases were detected as part of the authorities' active monitoring of the COVID-19 situation and genetic sequencing for surveillance , said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update on Thursday (April 28) night.

All cases self-isolated after testing positive for COVID-19, it said.

The ministry noted that BA.2.12.1 is not currently on the World Health Organization's list of variants of concern of interest, or variants under monitoring.

Not much is known about BA.2.12.1 - a subvariant of the highly contagious BA.2 Omicron variant - and there is currently no evidence that it causes more severe disease.

BA.2 became the predominant strain globally by mid-March. The variant and its sublineage BA.2.12.1 are estimated to make up more than 90 per cent of the coronavirus variants in the United States as of April 16, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Apr 19.

BA.2 made up 74.4 per cent of the variants in the US for the week ending April 16, while BA.2.12.1 made up 19 per cent, according to estimates from the CDC, the Channel report said.

Singapore reported 2,690 COVID-19 new cases and no deaths as of noon on Thursday. The country's case count has stabilised over the past few weeks, prompting authorities to announce a major easing of restrictions.

The city state has registered 1.19 million COVID-19 infections and 1,322 deaths related to the virus since the pandemic began.

Singapore is in the process of easing measures limiting people movements and has removed group size limits and a requirement for safe distancing were removed from April 26.

All employees have also been allowed to return to the workplace while restaurants, caterers in Singapore can resume self-service buffets from April 30.

Some workers say they will not take masks off in office despite easing of COVID-19 measures, according to the Channel report.

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