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BA.4 sub-lineage of novel coronavirus detected in Russia

The BA.4 sub-lineage of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant has been detected in Russia, scientist Kamil Khafizov told reporters on Sunday.

"The genome of the BA.4 lineage of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been deposited into the VGARus base, developed by Rospotrebnadzor's Central Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology," said Khafizov, who heads the institute's genome research lab. "One sample was deposited by the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza, and another one - by Rospotrebnadzor's Central Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology."

According to Khafizov, those samples were collected in late May.

"At present, the BA.2 variant and its sub-variants are dominant in Russia, accounting for about 95% of all new cases," he said.

According to the expert, good herd immunity, acquired through vaccination and previous waves of the novel coronavirus, prevent the spread of new omicron sub-variants in Russia at the moment. "However, a number of researches published lately show that the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of omicron are slightly more transmissive than earlier versions of the omicron," the scientist added.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 12Jun22]

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