According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), many relatively new sublines and mixed variants of Omicron have so far been found relatively rarely or not at all in Germany.
As of April 18, a total of 25 samples of line BA.5 have been detected, according to RKI’s weekly report Thursday evening. Thus, the proportion in the sample was 0.2 percent in the week before last. Latest values are not yet available.
BA.4 Not yet proven. However, in Germany, the genome is decoded in only a small percentage of positive samples.
The predominant subtype in Germany is BA.2 Currently, in the random sample, the RKI shows the proportion for the week before the last over 95 percent. It was – even better for conversion – followed by BA.1.
BA.4 and BA.5 have only recently become known and have been classified as a Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of Omicron.
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen Entwicklungen zur Coronavirus-Pandemie live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
According to WHO information, the evidence came from South Africa and some European countries. Both sublines have been said to have different characteristics from the other Omikron variants – but details are still open.
Targeted search for characteristic mutations
In addition, RKI reports evidence for many of the mixed (so-called recombinant) variants that have been observed. It can develop when a host cell is infected with different pathogens at the same time.
RKI records the following evidence: one from XD (omicron spike protein, rest delta) one from XE and three from XG. The last two are a mixture of BA.1 and BA.2.
“The most frequently (90 times) detected XM font is a recombinant of the Omicron BA.1.1 and BA.2 sublines,” writes RKI. This was first identified in mid-February and has since been discovered in several European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, and Great Britain.
The evidence was also said to have been provided in part by a targeted search for certain distinct mutations. RKI also indicates that the classification is still error-prone at the moment.
To date, there has been no epidemiological evidence of altered transmissibility, disease severity and/or altered immune response in the recombinants compared to the original variants. It has been said that XE may be more convertible compared to BA.2.
[Corona-Updates aus Berlins Bezirken gibt’s in den zwölf lokalen Newslettern vom Tagesspiegel, ganz unkompliziert und kostenlos bestellen unter leute.tagesspiegel.de]
Order now for free
In general, RKI speaks in the report on declining trends in several indicators of Corona in Germany. Accordingly, the nationwide seven-day infection rate fell by about a quarter in the weekly comparison. Among other things, key figures related to hospitalizations and outbreaks in facilities are also declining.
The impact of Easter may continue to mask the high infection pressure
However, the RKI still sees high infection pressure in the population. More than 750,000 cases of Covid 19 were reported last week.
The report also shows that fewer and fewer PCR tests have been carried out recently in more than 200 laboratories nationwide, upon which official statistics are based: down from well over two million a week in March, it was a week earlier. Easter only about 1.1 million.
The significant decline is also partly due to the Good Friday holiday, according to RKI. According to the report, more than every second test (about 55 percent) has been positive, roughly the same as in March. Priority is given to testing people with symptoms.
Experts have been assuming that many of the unrecorded cases have been going on for some time – because health authorities are overwhelmed and because positive rapid tests are not always followed by a lab test.
On Thursday, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach confirmed that there are currently about twice the number of officially reported cases. The Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service also reported this magnitude.
In the report, the RKI again emphasizes that it is neither possible nor necessary to record every individual case in the reporting system. The general development can also be reliably estimated thanks to other data taken into account.
On Friday morning, the RKI indicated a slight increase in seven-day incidence nationwide. Accordingly, the value of new injuries per 100,000 residents, and 733.4 per week. For comparison: the previous day the value was 720.6. A week ago, the nationwide infection rate was 1001.5 (previous month: 1733.4).
Here, too, RKI noted that the index values, which have fallen sharply in the past few days, should be viewed from a relative perspective. Because of Easter and the Easter holiday, fewer tests have been carried out and fewer infections have been recorded and transmitted than at other times. This means that “in the short term, there may be an increasing under-reporting of cases in the reporting system”.
Health authorities in Germany have reported 161,718 new cases of coronavirus to RKI in one day. A week ago there were 156,864 recorded infections. According to the new information, 289 more deaths related to the Corona virus were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago there were 212 deaths.
The RKI counted 24,006,254 confirmed Sars-CoV-2 infections since the beginning of the epidemic. The number of people who died or had a confirmed infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus rose to 133,921. The International Institute of Côte d’Ivoire gave the number of recoveries on Friday 21,058,000. (dpa)