MOH says new Covid-19 variant unlikely to cause severe infections

The emerging Covid-19 variants from abroad that have arrived in Myanmar may increase infection rate, but only vaccination is needed as the symptoms are not severe, said an official from the Ministry of Health.

The Department of Medical Research under MOH conducted whole genome sequencing on 18 samples sent from the National Laboratory starting from 28 December 2023 and Covid-19 variants were found in 16 of them- three persons who returned from Singapore and 13 locals.

“When a new variant appears, its infection rate usually exceeds that of previous ones. When Omicron emerged, Delta disappeared. Then came BA.4, BA.5, and now JN.1. It is not severe. If you are vaccinated, you can be well protected. You need a booster update. The main point is vaccination,” he continued.

These Covid-19 variants are SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants and Omicron HV.1, JN.1 and EG.5.1.8 variants were found in three returnees from Singapore, and Omicron JN.1 and XBB.1.16.17 in 11 and 2 locals respectively. All were discharged from hospital as they had recovered.

HV.1, JN.1 and EG.5.1.8 were newly detected variants in Myanmar.

The statements of the World Health Organization also described that new variant JN.1 as similar to EG.5 and unlikely to pose a threat to public health, while it was not expected to cause severe infections despite the rising infection rate.

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