The BA.2 subline is even more contagious than the Omicron strain that led to the fifth wave in Canada, but no more virulent, according to the World Health Organization.
The first cases of BA.2 were detected in Canada at the end of 2021, thanks to genomic sequencing.
The Public Health Agency of Canada warns that sequencing can take one to three weeks and that the latest available data, which dates back to the week of January 30, may therefore lag behind the current situation.
The National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) estimates that the BA.2% of cases screened”,”text”:”would represent less than 10% of cases screened”}}’>would represent less than 10% of the cases screenedaccording to preliminary data.
In Ontario, the proportion of COVID cases represented by the Omicron subvariant increased from 2% to 4.4% from the week of January 16-22 to that of January 23-29, according to provincial authorities.
However, according to modeling projections released last week by researchers in British Columbia, BA.2 is currently responsible for 44% of new infections in Ontario, 15% in British Columbia and no less than 96% in Alberta ( no data is available for Quebec).
” I don’t anticipate another major wave of infections. What concerns me is that [les provinces] deconfine too quickly, because when we are still close to the peak, we do not have much room for manoeuvre. »
The good news, she says, is that Canadians who have had Omicron since December are not more likely, according to preliminary data, to have a reinfection due to BA.2, which increases the level of immunity. against the subvariant, combined with vaccination.
For its part, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) notes that there is
growing international evidence indicating increased transmissibility of sub-variant BA.2.
jolts in the country, but no sixth wave.
” We have many people who have been infected with Omicron. In addition to those who have been vaccinated, there is still quite a large mass of people who can make a rampart so that we are not overwhelmed in hospitals. »
He adds that antiviral drugs are available now and people will spend more time outdoors, reducing the risk of infection, with the end of the cold season.
That said, he thinks Ontario, in particular, should increase access to PCR screening tests to be able to better monitor the BA.2 subvariant and avoid a spike in infections like in Denmark.
I wouldn’t say you have to worry, just keep an eye on it and don’t ignore it.he said.
Ontario stays the course
The Ford government, which must abandon the vaccine passport on March 1, is reassuring about BA.2 and deconfinement. The Health Minister’s press secretary, Christine Elliott, quotes Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, who said earlier this month that vaccinations continue to provide good protection.
Ontario hasn’t set a date for ending masks in public places, but Dr. Moore said Thursday he was assessing the matter and an announcement could come in the next few days. weeks.
He clarified that the mask could be lifted in schools at the same time. In the past, however, he had suggested that the face covering could be kept longer in the classroom, due to the lower vaccination rate among children.
In Quebec, the
work on the situation of the BA.2 subline of the Omicron variant is still in progress. The organization has no new recommendations for the government in terms of deconfinement and the lifting of the deposit on the mask.
For its part, the Public Health Agency of Canada says:
The impact of all variants continues to be monitored across the country, but the Government of Canada knows that vaccination, combined with public health measures and personal precautions such as masks, is essential to reduce the spread of COVID. -19 and its variants.