In the last couple of weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in the discovery of BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron from several countries, leading to fresh worries about the possibility of another surge in cases.
Last week, the UK Health Security Agency flagged this sub-variant and designated it as a ‘variant under investigation’.
This sub-variant has been present in substantial numbers in India as well, but India is not amongst the countries where the recent increase has been noticed.
A sub-variant of Omicron
2 is one of the several sub-variants of the Omicron which has spread rapidly across the world since November.
The Omicron name was given to the B.1.1.529 lineage after it was designated as a variant of concern.
Later, it was found that this lineage had small variations of its own, and the three most common were named B.1.1.529.1, B.1.1.529.2, and B.1.1.529.3. For ease of reference, however, these sub-lineages were later re-classified as BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3.
The Omicron sub-variant that has been most common in circulation till now is BA.1. This continues to be the case even now, though the proportion of BA.2 is on the rise.