The World Health Organization (WHO) claims it is investigating two more omicron subvariants. This news comes as Joe Biden extends the national emergency another 90 days.
The WHO said it will investigate the dozens of cases of the new omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, according to a report by Reuters. It has already been tracking BA.1 and BA.2, which have become dominant strains of COVID-19, and has allegedly already been looking at BA.1.1 and BA.3 subvariants, too.
There have been multiple cases of BA.4 found in South Africa, Denmark, Botswana, Scotland, and England, according to New York Post. The WHO said it will look at these subvariants because “additional mutations that need to be further studied to understand their impact on immune escape potential,” per Reuters.
Additionally, Biden has extended already over two years old public health emergency for another 90 days. The Department of Health and Human Services made a commitment at the beginning of President Biden’s term to give states at least two months’ warning before allowing the emergency declaration to lapse. Some governors have asked for even more time to prepare. The latest extension pushes back the expiration to mid-July, according to the New York Times.
This is also coming as the mainstream media reports that New York is seeing a “surge” of two new omicron subvariants. The appearance of these variants, both of which evolved from the subvariant BA.2, may explain why New York has been the national hot spot the last few weeks, the officials said. So far, the new viruses do not appear to cause more severe disease than previous variants, the officials said.
This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reinstate the mask mandates for public transportation.
The appearance of these variants in New York, both of which evolved from the subvariant BA.2, may explain why New York has been the national hot spot the last few weeks, the officials said. So far, the new viruses do not appear to cause more severe disease than previous variants, the officials said.