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New Covid-19 variant detected in Israel; 2 cases reported


Jerusalem: Israel’s Health Ministry informed on Wednesday that it had recorded two cases of new Covid variant, about which officials said they were not unduly worried about. The strain, a combination of two sub-variants of the Omicron version of the Covid-19 virus — dubbed BA.1 and BA.2, was recorded during PCR tests on two passengers arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.

‘This variant is still unknown around the world’, the ministry statement read, adding that ‘the two cases of the combined strain, which have been discovered so far, suffered from mild symptoms of fever, headaches and muscle dystrophy, and do not require a special medical response’.

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Israel’s pandemic response chief, Salman Zarka, said that the new variant does not possess much threat and added that the phenomenon of combined variants is well known. ‘At this stage, we are not worried about it leading to serious cases’, Zarka told Army Radio. More than four million people out of Israel’s population of 9.2 million have received three Covid-19 vaccine shots.


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