Omicron B2 variant turns up in test results

| 09/02/2022 | 82 Comments

(CNS): Public Health officials have revealed that the new Omicron variant, BA.2, has been discovered in the Cayman Islands. The highly contagious nature of this latest strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was identified here on 3 February, might explain why so many people have been in isolation over the last week. This latest variant was first identified in the Philippines in November 2021 and has since been shown to be highly transmissible.

Nevertheless, Public Health officials said it presents with less severe symptoms than even the original Omicron. Described by some scientists as a stealth variant, because the mutations make it harder to identify, the World Health Organization said Tuesday that this strain is expected to rise around the world.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said the global health agency is tracking four different versions of Omicron. At a Q&A with the world’s press, she said the BA.2 subvariant, which is more contagious than the currently dominant BA.1 version, will likely become even more common.

Releasing the latest weekly report, which covers the statistics for last week, indicates a decline in the number of people testing positive, despite the significant number of people who appear to be in isolation.

Between 30 January and 5 February, Public Health officials recorded 1,671 new cases of COVID-19, a decline of 475 on the previous week. The daily average case count also fell to 231. As of 5 February, Cayman had recorded 17,687 cases, but since then there were at least 175 more cases on Sunday, indicating that the current figure has probably exceeded 18,000.

Officials said the current number of people in hospital is 13, and the number remained stable last week. However, one of the patients died as a result of COVID complications. The elderly patient with severe comorbidity died on 2 February.

There have been 16 COVID-related deaths in the Cayman Islands since the beginning of the pandemic and while most of those individuals were unvaccinated, overall 44% of people admitted to hospital have had at least one shot.

Even though the variant is generally less severe, since 11 December 18 patients have been admitted to hospital who had tested positive for Omicron and eight of these patients were fully vaccinated, though none of them have died. Their average length of hospital stay was five days, while those testing positive for the Delta variant remained in hospital on average for just under nine days.

Between 11 November 2021 and the end of last week, 15 children have been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. Genomic sequencing isolated four cases of the Delta variant and one case of Omicron among the paediatric cases. Three out of 15 children had severe complications.

Vaccine take-up has continued to decline and just 29% of the population has had the third booster shot, but 83% of the population has already had at least one shot.

See the latest full situation report in the CNS Library.


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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This should not come as a surprise to anyone. The government appears to have made the decision to allow the virus to impact everyone to help protect the financial interests of their controlling entities. They appear to have decided that the potential loss of life is acceptable and favorable over any potential negative financial impact on there controlling entities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Enough of your fear mongering and get back to work!

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you on about? Most countries like the uk have ended all testing for travel and all restrictions. Why do we have these ridiculous isolation and arrival testing when if you are boosted omicron is harmless. The hospitals are not full, we have had minimal deaths from Covid. Time to move on and end all the restrictions completely.

      • Anonymous says:

        New Zealand was doing a great job controlling Covid but finally allowed the business community to push them to return to “normal”.

        How did that work out?

        12/2/2022: New Zealand reports a record 810 new coronavirus cases, nearly doubling yesterday’s record.

      • Anonymous says:

        I just don’t get this idiotic desire to return to normal too quickly, while the virus is still circulating. If it didn’t work in Denmark it won’t work anywhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      WHO chief scientist says COVID-19 pandemic is not over: “There will be more variants, more variants of concern”

      That is correct. There will be more variants, doesn’t change the fact the vast majority are doing little to nothing and acting like it “is” over.
      Its like trying to have a peeing section in a pool.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m no fool, no siree, Sabrina and Wayne not testing me.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s quite clear that much of the population are emotionally just like children, but they don’t have any mature adults to hold them and comfort them and explain it’s not fair, but it’s not gonna be normal for a while.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why are we still requiring these ridiculous pre departure covid tests to enter Cayman and day 2, 5, 7 arrival tests? The UK and other countries have abolished all arrival and departure tests now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Testing between islands is particularly stupid. Can’t even have a nice weekend on a different island without costing an extra $50 per family member.

    • G says:

      Yeah the day 2, 5, 7 arrival tests that not one soul is even monitoring/verifying.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Time to end all the mandates. No more masks! Especially in schools. These poor kids and their teachers. Masks are not effective. And are doing more damage to the kids than COVID does to them.

    No more masks anywhere. No more testing. Why does it matter if someone has COVID or the regular cold/flu? Stay home until you feel better and move on with life.

    Get rid of exit testing!!!! It’s ridiculous. There are zero other countries requiring exit testing. What risk are we trying to mitigate?

    Mask mandates are being lifted in numerous places. The world is moving on. Time for us to move on too.

    Government and the Education Ministry claim to be aware of the mental health impacts but that’s a load of garbage. If they truly cared, kids would not be masked in school. All after school activities would be up and running. Etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is your proof that masks are not effective?

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone is getting it. Masks or not!

      • Anonymous says:

        Google it. A piece of t shirt over your face does nothing. N95’s are not readily available and not required so what’s the point?

      • Anonymous says:

        With mask mandates and lockdowns worldwide and having experienced two years of a pandemic spreading through millions of people in almost every country on the planet. Where’s the proof they do work?
        They are just as effective as hand sanitiser, it helps when people don’t wash their hands after leaving the washroom, but hopeless against a virus spread by projected respiratory droplets. And yes, those droplets can and do escape loose paper masks and pathetic cloth coverings.
        Get out and enjoy life.

    • Anonymous says:

      please how are masks damaging anyone we aew 3 years into this please stop with this BS

      • Anonymous says:

        You must not have school age children. Moreover, the science indicates that the masks in use don’t do anything, so we all have this big bummer in our lives for no reason. It’s just the political class wanting to be seen as doing something and being in control of the situation, ie flatten the curve, lockdown at home, mask up, vax up, none of which had any effect except the vax and it was brought to you by the private sector (and slowed down by the regulators). 2 years of kabuki political theater is more than enough.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Covid is now nothing more than an excuse for Cayman’s Civil Servants to take two fully paid weeks off every six months.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What actually gives a damn anymore – Covid is over

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, Doctor

    • Anonymous says:

      Heart-disease risk soars after COVID — even with a mild case

      “People who had recovered from COVID-19 showed stark increases in 20 cardiovascular problems over the year after infection. For example, they were 52% more likely to have had a stroke than the contemporary control group, meaning that, out of every 1,000 people studied, there were around 4 more people in the COVID-19 group than in the control group who experienced stroke.

      The risk of heart failure increased by 72%, or around 12 more people in the COVID-19 group per 1,000 studied. Hospitalization increased the likelihood of future cardiovascular complications, but even people who avoided hospitalization were at higher risk for many conditions.”

      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00403-0

      Mild heart disease and strokes. Cool

  7. Jolly says:

    COVID is now far less dangerous to the vaccinated than flu. If Fox News gawping anti-vaxxers die I really don’t care.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This variant is even weaker than the main Omicron from UK studies

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hope that you al realize that the more it goes around the more variants we will have so we will have a hard time getting rid of it. Burying your head in the sand won’t make it go away. Humans have become so selfish.

  10. ELVIS says:

    Someone somewhere needs now to make a decision regarding isolation and being off work with little more than flu like symptoms to be honest.

    i totally get it and respect covid and delta etc even though delta has shown much less symptoms and sicknesses.

    the general population work force needs to get back to some kind of normality now i feel.

    just my 2 cents worth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody is supposed to go to work sick with any kind of contagious disease. You stay home and get better. That’s why there’s a Labour Law. Employers that aren’t providing paid leave to their workforce, need to be reported for fine or revocation of their T&BL.

      • Anonymous says:

        Business are only required to pay for 10 sick days a year (civil servants are allowed as many as they want).
        Dart originally offered insurance to staff (similar to Aflac) so employees would be covered in case of long term disabilities/absences.
        Our problem is our government & employees don’t understand what it’s like in the real world. Employees (most of them anyway) will only pay what the labour law states is required.

    • Anonymous says:

      *omicron not delta is weaker.

    • Anonymous says:

      Better wait and see what the Civil Service Association has to say about that.

    • Elvis says:

      Sorry forgot omicron too.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone still are about covid?

  12. Anonymous says:

    ThE PaNDeMiC iS OvEr!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Quick, everyone hide in their closets! Set up another field hospital, close the airport, double mask while riding your bicycle, cancel the pool guy!

  14. Cayman Sanction says:

    Call Sir Alden to lead the next lockdown Amen ! B2 too contagious 4U

  15. Anonymous says:

    Its over. We saved Grandma. Now save our kids.

    Children need after school clubs and sports which have been cancelled for months with no sign of restarting. Start focusing on their mental health and stop being afraid of a cold.

  16. Anonymous says:

    B2, in other words a cold..

  17. Anonymous says:

    Broken record. The decline in cases is because people refuse to report. Even the most dense person here knows this.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Let’s knock this sh!t on the head now, it’s morphed into no more than a cold.

  19. Pastor Alfredo says:

    OH MY GOD!

    NOT THE SARS-COV-2 OMICRON VARIANT BA.02!!!

    Whatever will we do?!

    Do I need to isolate if I get it? 5 days, 7 days, 10 days or 14 days? Do I need a PCR? LFT? Do I start counting on the test day or the day I get symptoms? What if I’ve had three jabs? How about two? Or one? Do I need to get a confirmed negative PCR before I can get out of house arrest? Once I’m all clear can I go to the brac for the weekend? Or do I need to get tested again? How about my kids if they get it and recover? Do they need to still wear masks at school? Do they need to test every day if another kid in their class catches it? Even if my kids are negative they have to wear masks all day in school, right? But not while they’re eating. Or swimming. Or doing PE. Or outside. But they do if they’re moving from the classroom to the place where they’re doing PE? While I don’t have to wear a mask in the office at all.

    Crystal clear and totally logical.

    Meanwhile a handful of people have been in hospital and all except one were discharged after a few days. On an individual level I’m very sorry for the loss of the lady who was in her 80s and hope her family have had a chance to celebrate a life well lived. All the while thousands of people are under house arrest. Tourists refuse to come whilst we (and the states) impose Dickensian restrictions on testing and travel. Children have been in schools for months without the ability to see their friends or their teachers smile behind masks made out of old t shirts as if they make any difference whatsoever.

    Christ, this is getting tedious.

    Pastor Alfredo

  20. Anonymous says:

    yawn.
    UK is about to remove the isolation.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is a little smelly.

  22. Sheriff says:

    “Nevertheless, Public Health officials said it presents with less severe symptoms than even the original Omicron.” THIS statement is of utmost importance! So before everyone flips out read it again. ” Nevertheless, Public Health officials said it presents with less severe symptoms than even the original Omicron.”

  23. Anonymous says:

    18.000 positives, 18 deaths – and sadly people who had other severe issues going on. That is a death rate of 1 in an 1,000. Time to open up and get on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Average age of death, 76

      Why did they inject children ?

    • Anonymous says:

      There was one person who was not elderly and no pre-existing conditions who died here. Just because it wasn’t someone you know who died is no reason to be so callous and dismissive of those deaths. They were people with families who would not have died that day if it were not for covid.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Not testing, not reporting.

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