New Omicron strain killing hundreds everyday in HK has not reached Thailand


A NEW MUTANT strain of Omicron dubbed BA.2.2 has led to Hong Kong recording the highest death rate in the world but fortunately it has not spread to Thailand, Amarin TV said today (Mar. 11).

This variant is unique to Hong Kong but has been seen in the UK, Singapore and Australia, according to Daily Mail.

Ramathibodi Hospital Mahidol University’s Centre for Medical Genomics, Faculty of Medicine, said the spread of the new mutation led to Hong Kong registering the highest death rate in the world. 

While BA. 2.2 has not been found in Thailand, to be on the safe side this centre has started developing a test kit to detect it with this expected to be completed within two weeks.

Hong Kong’s average Covid mortality over seven days is 30 per million inhabitants, while in Thailand the rate is  0.85 per million, mostly the elderly and those who have not been vaccinated, with the unvaccinated urged to quickly get jabbed.

Omicron killed 280 people in Hong Kong on Monday, and there’s been 450,000 cases since February 15. Before Omicron, the city had only 50,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Of concern is the sharp increase of new Omicron cases in Hong Kong, averaging 5,425 per million inhabitants over seven days. This is close to what second place Latvia recorded, 5,278 per million.

The infection rate in Thailand is 315 people per million.

While Hong Kong’s death rate is very high, both Latvia and Thailand where Omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2 have spread but not the new BA. 2.2., the rate is 10.7 and 0.7, respectively.

As Hong Kong’s death rate is double that of Latvia it is likely that the new Omicron subspecies is a factor in the spike that sent it soaring to the top of the global Omicron chart.

Meanwhile the Public Health Ministry said this morning that there were 24,792 Covid cases and 63 deaths over the past 24 hours with this taking the cumulative confirmed total since the start of the pandemic to 3,136,649.

Altogether 21,626 people tested positive via ATK and are awaiting confirmation of infection. This total was not added to the daily infection count.

Another 22,065 patients were cured taking total recoveries since the start of the pandemic to  2,890,076 while 222,998 are still undergoing treatment.

Today’s 63 fatalities raised the death toll to 23,575.


Top: Hong Kong worked hard to minimise the threat of Covid throughout the pandemic with strict restrictions, but those have proved insufficient to contain Omicron. Photo: Wolf W (CC BY 2.0)

Home Page:  Patients lie in hospital beds waiting for medical treatment in a temporary holding area outside Caritas Medical Centre in Hong Kong on February 16, 2022. Photo: Leung Man Hei  / Nurphoto / Getty Images and published by CNBC

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