Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Omicron strain found in all 90 samples – NCIPD

Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) has announced the results of sequencing the latest group of samples taken from Covid-19 patients in the country and said that it found the Omicron coronavirus strain in all 90 samples.

NCIPD said that the samples, taken over a period of time ranging from February 6 to March 21 in 16 out of Bulgaria’s 28 districts, showed that the XBB.1.5 lineage and related subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as XBB.x, was now the dominant one in Bulgaria.

XBB.1.5 is a sub-lineage of XBB, which evolved from two earlier lineages of Omicron, with an additional spike change, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

ECDC has currently designated XBB and XBB.1.5-like sublineages as variants of interest and XBB.1.16 as a variant under monitoring.

NCIPD’s latest sequencing dataset showed the XBB.x lineage was present in 53 cases or 58.9 per cent of the samples, compared to 4.4 per cent of the samples in the previous batch sequenced by NCIPD, the results of which were announced on March 6.

The remaining samples were six cases of the BA.5.x lineage, which was the previously dominant Omicron subvariant in the country, seven cases of the BF.x lineage, 10 cases of the BN.x lineage, five cases of the BQ.x lineage, two cases each of the CH.x lineage and EG.1 subvariant, as well as one case apiece of DS.2, EA.1, EH.1, XBF.7 and XBK.1 subvariants.

As of March 29, six patients in the NCIPD sample group had died, four were in hospital and 11 were undergoing home treatment, with 67 recovered and two cases categorised as unknown, NCIPD said.

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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