2 local cases infected with new Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1
Two local Covid-19 cases have been confirmed to be infected with a new Omicron sub-variant called BA.2.12.1 - a descendant of the BA.2 version of Omicron, which drove Singapore's Omicron wave.
The new version was detected through active monitoring of the Covid-19 situation and genetic sequencing, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on its website on Thursday night (April 28), alongside its daily update on the local Covid-19 situation.
MOH added that the two individuals self-isolated after testing positive for Covid-19.
The BA.2.12.1 is currently not on the World Health Organisation's list of variants of concern or interest, or variants under monitoring.
Since March 15, more than 98 per cent of local Covid-19 cases have been infected with the BA.2 sub-variant, MOH has said previously.
Preliminary studies show that BA.2 is more transmissible compared with the original Omicron sub-variant known as BA.1. However, all the Omicron sub-variants are highly contagious, but less deadly compared with Delta or earlier variants.
The New York Times (NYT) reported two weeks ago that BA.2.12.1 and another sub-variant accounted for more than 70 per cent of new cases in central New York state last month.
The two sub-variants - BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 - have a growth advantage of about 25 per cent over BA.2.
But the new versions do not appear to cause more severe disease than previous Omicron variants, reported NYT.
As at mid-April, the BA.2.12.1 has been detected in more than 40 countries.