THE first cases of the new BA.2 Omricon variant have been confirmed in Spain.

Two infections have been identified in Catalunya with a potential third case being studied in the Balearic Islands.

Speaking to Congress on Thursday, Health Minister, Carolina Darias said: “We will see how BA.2 behaves as it is still being studied but I will cautiously suggest that it behaves in the same way as the original Omicron COVID-19 variant”.

BA.2 has been detected in 40 countries and early studies from Denmark show no major differences from the original BA.1 variant.

Catalunya’s Public Health Secretary, Carmen Cabezas, said: “The first data on this sub-lineage indicates that it has more mutations.”

“It also seems more transmissible, although we have no evidence that it is more severe,” she added.

Early tests also suggest the BA.2 mutation might be harder to distinguish from other COVID variants in PCR tests, but not enough studies have been carried out so far to draw a definitive conclusion

In her address to Congress this Thursday, Carolina Darias, also told deputies that a ‘slowdown of the pandemic sixth wave is taking place’.

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