“Centaurus”, the new Covid variant, already reached four continents. Increasing infections in Romania, too

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A new variant of Omicron is spreading rapidly, and health experts are worried because it contains many mutations, and the combinations that appear are numerous. The new strain is called “Centaurus”,  The Guardian reports.

Variant BA.2.75 – nicknamed “Centaurus” – was first detected in India in early May. Cases in the UK have since risen sharply – and apparently faster than those of the highly transmissible BA.5 variant, which is also present in India and is rapidly replacing the previously dominant BA.2 variant in many countries. The new variant has already reached 10 other countries, including the United Kingdom, the USA, Australia, Germany and Canada.

British lawmakers have called for increased efforts to persuade the nearly 3 million adults in England who have not yet been immunized with the first dose of Covid vaccine to get vaccinated.

In addition to its rapid growth and wide geographical spread, experts were alerted to the large number of additional mutations that BA.2.75 contains, compared to BA.2, from which it would have evolved. “It’s not so much the mutations that are of concern, but rather their number / combination,” said Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, who was the first to identify Omicron as a potential concern in November 2021.

“It’s hard to predict the effect of so many mutations that occur together and give power to the virus when it manifests together. It is certainly a potential danger for what follows after BA.5,” he added.

Experts say that the appearance of the Omicron variant last year, after it was thought that Delta would represent the maximum point of pandemic evolution, and the extension of the new variants show that the virus cannot be controlled by the same plan that would apply in case of flu. In addition to vaccination, long-term plans should include additional measures to prevent infections and reinfections, including improved ventilation systems, indoor air filtration, additional testing, and compliance with isolation periods. to reduce the spread of disease.

Over 3,700 new cases of COVID-19, in Romania, hospital admissions up

3,777 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in Romania in the last 24 hours, 267 less than the previous day. However, the number of hospitalizations is increasing.

The number of people hospitalized in COVID-19 wards is 1,442, 81 more than the previous day. 87 people are hospitalized in Intensive Care, 3 less than the previous day. Of the 87 patients admitted in ICU, 68 are unvaccinated. Out of the total number of hospitalized patients, 198 are minors, all being hospitalized in wards, with 11 more than the previous day and zero in intensive care, the same as the previous day.

So far, 65,801 people diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection have died. Between 12.07.2022 (10:00) – 13.07.2022 (10:00) 4 deaths were reported by INSP (two men and two women). One death was recorded in the age category 50-59 years, one in the age category 60-69 years, one in the age category 70-79 years and one death in the age category over 80 years. All deaths were recorded in patients with comorbidities. Of the deceased patients, 2 were vaccinated and 2 unvaccinated.

A quarter of the cases in Bucharest 

A quarter of the cases are registered in Bucharest – 982. On the second place in most new cases, at a great distance, is Ilfov county – 224, followed by Cluj – 185 and Prahova – 190.

763 of the new 24-hour cases are from re-infected patients, tested positive for more than 90 days after the first infection. Apart from the newly confirmed cases, following the retesting of patients who were already positive, 144 people were reconfirmed positively.

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