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Sixth wave of pandemic essentially over says virologist

Dr Leondios Kostrikis

The sixth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is essentially over, virologist Leontios Kostrikkis, a former member of the government’s epidemiological team, said on Tuesday.

Speaking to CyBC radio, he added that a possible resurgence of the virus will not be influenced by the upcoming colder months.

“The change of the season will not automatically spark another outbreak of the pandemic,” Kostrikkis said.

However, he said a new threat might be posed by the emergence of another fast-spreading Omicron variant, which is rapidly gaining ground in India and has already arrived in the UK.

The BA.2.75 variant – nicknamed Centaurus, was first detected in India in early May. Cases in the UK have since risen steeply and faster than those of the BA.5 variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is also closely monitoring the new variant, although its chief scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, said there were not yet enough samples to assess its severity.

“The Centaurus variant could be dangerous for the population, and its symptoms, according to studies, are more severe compared to the Omicron variant,” Kostrikkis said.

The virologist also said that the virus spreads faster and more effectively in closed spaces.

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