Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Omicron variant found in 249 of 334 samples sequenced by NCIPD

Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) said on February 4 that it has found the Omicron coronavirus strain in 249 out of 334 samples taken from Covid-19 patients in the country, with the rest identified as having the Delta strain or its sub-variants.

The samples had been taken over a period of time ranging from January 3 to January 20 and came from 21 out of Bulgaria’s 28 districts.

The Omicron strain accounted for 74.6 per cent of the latest group of samples sequenced by NCIPD, up from 55.1 per cent in the previous batch announced by NCIPD last week.

NCIPD said it also identified the first cases of the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, which appears to be more transmissible that other Omicron subvariants, according to research from Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut, published earlier this week.

Among the patients with the Omicron strain, 236 were undergoing treatment at home, seven were in hospital and six had recovered, as of January 17-February 1, the NCIPD statement said.

Of the 85 patients with the Delta strain or its subvariants, 60 were undergoing home treatment, 19 were in hospital, four had recovered and two had died, as of January 17-February 1.

NCIPD said that among the Omicron cases, the BA.1 subvariant was the dominant one with 172 cases, followed by the BA.1.1 subvariant with 70 cases and seven cases of BA.2.

Among the Delta subvariants, AY.4 was found in 16 cases, AY.9.2 in 14 cases and AY.43 in 11 cases. Fourteen other Delta subvariants accounted for the remaining 44 samples sequenced by NCIPD.

The largest number of samples, including both the Omicron and Delta strains, came from the district of Bourgas (104), followed by the city of Sofia (58), and the districts of Rousse (47) and Stara Zagora (17).

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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