'Stealth Omicron' Now Dominant COVID Strain in Korea

  • By Sun Jung-min

    March 29, 2022 11:10

    The "stealth Omicron" subvariant, which is thought to be even more contagious than the Omicron variant, has become the dominant strain among new COVID-19 infections in Korea.

    Health authorities said Monday that the BA-2 subvariant accounted for 56.3 percent of all cases last week (March 20-26), compared to 22.9 percent in the first week of March, 26.3 percent in the second week and 41.4 percent in the third.

    The Delta variant, which accounted for 0.01 percent of cases in the third week of March, was not found at all last week.

    People wait in line to get tested for coronavirus in Seoul on Monday. /Yonhap

    The daily tally of new infections stood at 347,554 as of Tuesday morning, with 1,215 severe cases and 237 deaths. The cumulative total of cases reached 12.35 million.

    Meanwhile, health authorities said they had made an additional purchase of 200,000 courses of Pfizer's Paxlovid COVID-19 treatment, bringing the total number of courses of the drug available to 962,000.

    Korea has also secured 242,000 courses of Merck's Lagevrio, also known as Molnupiravir.

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