There is no ‘Kraken’ or Omicron XBB.1.5 coronavirus subvariant reported in Malaysia for now.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said monitoring continues against XBB 1.5, which is now the dominant strain in the United States (US).
“We are still monitoring whether XBB.1.5 will have worse effects in severity and contagion, but as of now, it is not yet detected in the country.
“Monitoring will continue to be carried out and we will cooperate with other countries to look into the severity and contagion of this variant,” he said in a special talk with the media today.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), XBB.1.5 is the Omicron XBB subvariant progeny, resulting from an intersection between two previous strains, BA.2.75 and BA.2.10.1.
Experts called the Omicron XBB.1.5 strain ‘Kraken’, as it has the potential to cause a large wave of Covid-19 infections. WHO reported that it is analysing the risks of the strain.
While lives have slowly returned to normalcy two years after the pandemic, the new XBB.1.5 subvariant might be threat lurking to disrupt this.
The Kraken strain is believed to be more contagious, with the ability to evade vaccine protection with prolonged infection, as reported by Australia’s news site news.com.au.
WHO called the strain ‘the most infectious subvariant ever detected’, with it making up the majority of infection in the US.
The variant has been detected in Australia, United Kingdom (UK), Denmark, France, Germany and Spain. – NST