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'Second type' of Omicron Covid that may spread faster being monitored by scientists

There is evidence of a new type of Omicron Covid, according to experts.

Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London explained that the strain - known to scientists as BA.2 - is growing compared to the previous Omicron variant which is known as BA.1.

Omicron BA.1 is the dominant strain throughout Scotland with 21,832 confirmed cases of the variant across the country.

However, in an announcement earlier this week Nicola Sturgeon said recent figures "gives us confidence that we have turned the corner on the Omicron wave" and announced the end to many restrictions.

Despite the positivity, another more strain of Omicron may impact case numbers, reports Wales Online.

Dr Peackcock stated that the growth of BA.2 across multiple countries may mean it is more transmissible than Omicron,

He said: "Consistent growth across multiple countries is evidence BA.2 may be some degree more transmissible than BA.1.

"Unfortunately this is really where the evidence mostly ends. We do not currently have a strong handle on antigenicity, severity or a much evidence for how much more transmissibility BA.2 might have over BA.1 ."

The scientist did say that very early observations from India and Denmark suggest there is no "dramatic difference" in severity compared to Omicron, but the data is being closely monitored.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "So how worried should we be? Those working in sequencing/surveillance should definitely be keeping a close eye on BA.2 (and very likely already are!).

"Personally, I'm not sure BA.2 is going to have a substantial impact on the current Omicron wave of the pandemic. Several countries are near, or even past the peak of BA.1 waves. I would be very surprised if BA.2 caused a second wave at this point.

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There is evidence of a new type of Omicron Covid, according to experts.
COVID-19 restrictions are to be eased in Scotland from Monday January 24, with nightclubs reopening, large indoor events resuming and social distancing rules dropped.Restrictions on outdoor events in Scotland were previously lifted on January 17. This allowed fans to return to outdoor concerts and football matches, after COVID restrictions were put in place on Boxing Day, reducing outdoor events to a capacity of 500.Nightclubs had been closed since December 26 but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from January 24.The new changes will take effect after a “significant fall” in new case numbers, with Sturgeon commented that Scotland had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”.

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