Malgorzata Gasperowicz, a researcher from the University of Calgary, shared the graph showing the alarming rising count of the Omicron BA2 sublineage in Europe. She said: “Next wave started in Europe. BA2 is worse than BA1.” BA1 was the first known lineage of the Omicron variant.
BA2 has been described as a “stealth” variant as it has genetic mutations that might make it harder to differentiate it from the delta variant using PCR tests, compared to BA.1, the original sublineage.
Ms Gasperowicz, who is from Canada, warned her country is poised to follow the trend emerging in Europe.
She wrote: “Since two years Europe is Canada’s crystal ball.
“Removing protections now will cause deaths, sickness and disabilities of many more Canadians.
” And no, not only ‘vulnerable’ are at risk.
“Mask mandates and clean air save lives.”
In another post, she said that “if we want to get off the rollercoaster and get back to relative normalcy, we need to stop the transmission”.
While Ms Gasperowicz was sending a warning to the people of Canada, Europe too appears to be lifting Covid restrictions as a surge of Omicron cases appears to have returned.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 18 countries in the European region that have lifted nearly all virus measures.
And a report published by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that mortality is still going up in 10 countries due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
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Dr Catherine Smallwood, WHO’s COVID-19 incident manager for Europe, said we can expect cases to “increase as countries lift the measures”.
The UK has lifted the vast majority of the last remaining Covid restrictions.
But in England alone, 4.87 percent, the same as around 2.1 million or one in 20 people, were thought to have been infected with the virus last week.
Hospitalisations also. went up to about to13 per 100,000 people in England last week, up from 11 per 100,000 the week before.
It comes as the Government scraps the remaining restrictions on travel.
According to the ONS, the prevalence of the omicron BA.2 sublineage went up last week across England, Scotland and Wales.