Ecuador identified its first five cases of the BA.2 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the city of Guayaquil, the Ministry of Public Health announced.
In a statement, the Ministry said that it was notified of the cases by the universities that conduct the sequencing of the virus, which have to be confirmed by the National Institute of Public Health Research, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The epidemiological surveillance of the contacts of the identified people was initiated. They are being monitored by medical personnel,” the statement said.
The Ministry added that in countries where the BA.2 variant has been confirmed, “it is more contagious, but there is no evidence that it is more lethal”.
The “stealth Omicron”, as it is known, is spreading rapidly around the world, while the World Health Organization considers it to be of concern and has recommended that emphasis be placed on research.
The cases of BA.2 variant were confirmed at a time when Ecuador is seeing a decline in the pandemic’s fourth wave.
Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, the South American country has registered 850,765 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 25,158 deaths.