Fauci said BA.2 is about 60 percent more transmissible than Omicron, but it doesn’t appear to be more serious.
A highly contagious sub-variant of the Omicron strain of COVID-19, known as BA.2, could soon lead to another surge in US coronavirus cases, the country’s top infectious disease expert warned . White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the subvariant is estimated to account for about 30 percent of all new cases in the US, and is also the most dominant variant in the country, CNBC reported on Sunday.
Fauci said BA.2 is about 60 percent more transmissible than Omicron, but it doesn’t appear to be more serious. “It has increased transmission capacity,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “However, if you look at the cases, they don’t seem to be more serious and they don’t seem to evade the immune responses of vaccines or previous infections,” he explained.
Fauci said vaccines and booster shots remain the best means of preventing serious illness from the virus. The variant has already caused a wave of cases in China and parts of Europe.
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy of Indian descent expressed concern on Sunday over the lack of funding to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we look at what is happening in the world and over the past two years, we recognize that when the number of cases increases in one part of the world, it often leads to an increase in the other part of the world. And we have to be prepared that, you know, COVID-19 hasn’t gone away,” he told Fox News in an interview.
“There could be rises and falls in cases in the coming months. But here’s the key, our goal is to keep people out of the hospital, it’s to save their lives, and we have more tools to do that than ever before. So our focus should be on preparation, not on panic. And if we give people these tools, vaccines, boosters, treatments, then we can get through waves that can come and go.
“What worries me right now is that, just as we have done for the past two years to get the right tools, we need to continue to fund and support them so that they are available to people across the country. That’s why Congress makes sure that funding is so cortical,” Murthy explained.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 31,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including 958 deaths.
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