The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 237 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 486 recoveries and no deaths.
Over 151 million PCR tests have been conducted in the country so far.
The World Health Organisation has said that it is continuing to monitor “several descendent lineages” of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, including two new sublineages that have additional mutations associated with potential “immune escape characteristics.” The Covid-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update, released by WHO on Tuesday, said that the Omicron variant remains the dominant one circulating globally.
WHO said it continues to monitor several descendent lineages under the Omicron Variant of Concern, including BA.1, BA.2, BA.3 as well as now BA.4 and BA.5. It also includes BA.1/BA.2 circulating recombinant forms, such as XE.
“A small number of sequences of BA.4 and BA.5 descendent lineages have now been detected in a few countries. Both have additional mutations in the Spike region (S:L452R, S:F486V) and unique mutations outside of Spike. The S:L452R and S:F486V mutations are associated with potential immune escape characteristics,” the global health organisation said.
Meanwhile, vaccines against Covid-19 have roughly halved the death toll from the disease in Italy, preventing some 150,000 fatalities and 8 million cases last year, the National Health Institute (ISS) estimated on Wednesday.
The ISS study, which ran from the start of 2021 until the end of January this year, concluded the inoculation campaign also prevented more than 500,000 hospitalisations and over 55,000 admissions to intensive care.
Italy has registered 161,032 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth highest in the world. The country has reported 15.4 million cases to date.
Some 79 per cent of Italians have been fully vaccinated and 65 per cent have had a third "booster" shot, figures from Our World in Data show.
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