A surge in Omicron subvariants might lead to an increase in cases in Canada as summer approaches while COVID-19 health restrictions continue to weaken, researchers believe.
The increasing number of cases in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world has been attributed to the subvariants of BA.4 and BA.5. According to samples taken during the week of May 29 in Canada, these two variations accounted for 3.9% and 6.5% of all cases of COVID-19, respectively. Another developing subvariant, BA.2.12.1, likewise accounts for 40.5 percent of all instances.
These sub-variants have shown “a growing advantage in increasing immunological escape” over prior variations due to fading vaccination protection and virus evolution, according to Dr. Tam, the Chief Medical Health Officer of Canada.
Because our growth is not expected to be linear, it is in our best interest to maintain a readiness for a possible revival that might have a significant impact,” Dr. Tam said to the media.
According to Dr. Kashif Pirzada, a Toronto-based emergency department specialist, these new sub-variants highlight how swiftly the virus may change.
There will be waves every two or three months because the virus is adapting to defeat our protection and vaccination. You may not be able to defend yourself from this strain of Omicron even if you were previously infected with Omicron. Your immunity may not be strong enough for it.”
You can observe an increase in hospitalizations in countries like Portugal, which has one of the greatest vaccination rates in the developed world, because of the BA.5 variation.” Pirzada stated, “So, that may be a message for us.” Although the warm weather and early dismissal of students from the area’s public schools should protect us, we must proceed with caution.
An associate professor as well as communicable diseases specialist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ont., Dr. Zain Chagla says it’s still uncertain what will occur in Canada.
After peaking in Portugal after around six weeks, Chagla predicts that another wave of Omicron cases will strike Canada in the coming weeks, with indoor, high-capacity, and poorly ventilated places posing a larger risk of COVID-19 transmission.
As community rates climb, so does exposure to these situations, according to Chagla. “At this stage, individuals should participate with just what they feel most comfortable with,” he added. When it comes to protecting yourself in these situations, wearing a well-fitting mask is a good idea.
Tam said Canada’s Public Health Agency is “cautiously optimistic” about the current trend of cases and hospitalizations in Canada.
Illness expert Isaac Bogoch told CTV News that “if you look at where we were two months back, we are doing much better” than we were at this time last year.
Although Bogoch feels that “summer bumps in cases” may occur, he cites recent wastewater data in Ontario suggesting an increase in SARS-CoV-2 concentrations.
A “slight bump in the signal” wasn’t simply a flicker for him, he insisted. “If you look at other parts of Ontario, you’ll see that this isn’t limited to a single region. Multiple places of the world are picking up on it.”