HCM CITY — A new variant of Omicron called XBB has been detected in HCM City.
The COVID-19 sub-variant was reported in December last year and only accounts for a small share of positive cases, according to a COVID-19 research team of the Hồ Chí Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit.
During the second half of 2022, the southern city reported mostly Omicron and Delta cases.
There was a shift from BA.5 of Omicron to BA.2.75 (including BN.1) in the fourth quarter of last year, which was in line with the overall trend of the word, according to the team.
They said that the COVID-19 situation in the southern city is still under control, showing the role of vaccines in protecting against severe cases and preventing deaths.
According to the World Health Organization, XBB and its sublineages are recombinant BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 sublineages.
There has been a broad increase in the prevalence of XBB and its sublineages in regional genomic surveillance, but it has not yet been consistently associated with an increase in new infections.
The current data do not suggest substantial differences in disease severity for XBB infections. There is, however, early evidence pointing at a higher reinfection risk than other circulating Omicron sublineages, said the organisation.
Việt Nam has reported more than 11.5 million cases of COVID-19 infections as of Wednesday, including nearly 43,190 deaths. More than 265.5 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, according to its Ministry of Health. —VNS