Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 detected in New Zealand for the first time


Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 had been detected in New Zealand for the first time and another 24 deaths of people with the coronavirus and 9629 new community cases have been reported today in New Zealand. 

A statement issued by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health says 493 people were in the hospital with Covid-19, including 11 in ICU.

Radio New Zealand reports, that the ministry regularly assesses the latest evidence on variants to ensure that our public health settings are appropriate.

At this stage, there is no evidence that BA.2.75 requires a shift in public health settings already in place to manage other Omicron variants.”

Samoa intends to open its international borders next month and emails for comments sent to the Chairman of the National Emergency Operations Center, Agafili Shem Leo were not answered as of press time. 

Today the Ministry of Health issued a public health advisory on the “rampant spread” of seasonal influenza flu or the common flu, this is on top of the Covid-19 spreading in the Country. 

In a statement issued today, the Ministry says these viruses are contagious with expected symptoms such as fever, runny nose, dry cough, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, and a general feeling of unwellness and fatigue. 

“Since the month of June 2022, the Ministry of Health has seen a very large surge of cases presenting with symptoms of the common flu with a noticeable increase compared to the previous two years.” 

The New Zealand Ministry of Health said on Friday afternoon, that an analysis of whole-genome sequencing confirmed two cases in New Zealand with BA.2.75.

The ministry said before testing positive for Covid-19, both cases had recently travelled from India, where this subvariant has been detected.

“BA.2.75 is a recently identified second-generation subvariant of BA.2, the dominant variant circulating in New Zealand at this stage. BA.2.75 has only been recently identified as distinct from BA.2, and evidence on its transmissibility, immune evasiveness and severity is still preliminary and emerging.

“We do know BA.2.75 has some characteristics that look like they may enhance its ability to evade immunity, similar to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, and there is some early evidence overseas that it may be slightly more transmissible that BA.2. There is no current evidence that it leads to more severe disease, although assessing the evidence is at a very early stage,” says the New Zealand Health Ministry.