May not need new variant for another wave: Researcher who gave key insights into Omicron

A new variant may not be needed for another Covid wave, a researcher from South Africa has said. Dr Tulio De Oliveira, Director of CERI, has concluded that BA.4 and BA.5 now detected in South Africa could lead to the next surge.

Researcher Tulio de Oliveira has in fact suggested that a new variant altogether may not be driving surges, but South Africa may start a new wave of infections with BA.4 and BA.5.

Read: South Africa likely in new Covid wave, says health minister

He said, “So, it looks that Covid-19 may be evolving differently and that we may not need a new variant to cause a new wave of infection. We are seeing this with BA.4 and 5 in SA and with BA.2.12 .1 on the east coast of the USA. “

He said immunity from previous infections would not be enough to prevent a second infection. He said, “Today, new results from our friend @sigallab show that previous infections with Omicron BA.1 will not be sufficient to prevent a second infection with BA.4 and BA.5. This confirms our epi and Evo results suggesting that South Africa may start a new wave of infections with BA.4 & 5. “

“We are all tired of this virus, but he may not be tired of us. We need now to take seriously the declining immunity from previous infections and @sigallab show that vaccination is much more reliable to maintain immunity than just infection,” he said .

He also spoke about the three main theories behind the emergence of the contagious Omicron variant which triggered a third wave in the world.

He said, “There are 3 main theories for the emergence of Omicron: A) Unsampled location, B) Chronic infections & C) animal reservoir. The continued discoveries of lineages going back to close to the origin of Omicron suggests (B or C) , B is more likely for me. “

“BA.4 and BA.5 came from prolonged infections in the same host, suggests Dr. Tulio de Oliveira,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, several countries are witnessing a spike in Covid cases, including India. Restrictions have also been imposed in most countries to prevent another wave. In India, the maximum cases are being reported in the national capital of Delhi. Several states in the country have imposed Covid curbs and made the wearing of masks mandatory.

Read: India records 3,377 new Covid-19 cases; Delhi continues to report maximum new cases

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