A new sub variant of the Omicron strain of the Coronavirus has been identified in NSW. The new strain known as BA 2 is considered to be between 25 to 30 percent more transmissible than the Omicron strain but no more severe.
Professor Sanjay Senanayake has stated that “in terms of severity, it does not seem to be more severe, and in terms of its response to vaccines and its ability to evade vaccines, it doesn’t seem any more different than Omicron.”
Experts believe that cases in NSW could double in the next four to six weeks as a result of the new variant.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that health authorities want masks to be compulsory indoors, capacity limits to be brought back, a blanket ban on singing and dancing and a return to working from home.
Although health authorities are asking for a reintroduction of restrictions, Health Minister Brad Hazzard has said that“ as Health Minister I am not at all keen to be heading back (on) the path that has exhausted everybody with all the restrictions.”
He also went onto to state that it was important for everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine despite evidence that shows that transmissibility remains almost identical between the unvaccinated and the vaccinated, regardless of number of boosters.
“If everybody were boosted, I wouldn’t be as concerned,” Mr Hazzard said.