The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar announced the registration of limited cases of the new sub-mutant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) known as “EG.5” in the country. These cases were described as mild and did not result in hospitalization at this stage.
The ministry stated that it is closely monitoring the epidemiological situation regarding new variants of COVID-19. The World Health Organization had previously announced the emergence of the EG.5 sub-mutant of COVID-19, which has been reported in more than 50 countries, including several in the Gulf region.
Another variant, BA.2.86, has also been reported in multiple countries, including the United States, England, and Denmark. This variant is noteworthy for containing multiple genetic variations distinct from the previous virus. However, there is currently no evidence indicating increased transmission or a greater need for hospitalization among those infected with it. More data is being collected regarding this variant.
The Ministry of Public Health emphasized the importance of individuals at risk of severe infection adhering to standard precautionary measures, such as wearing masks in crowded places, regular hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distancing.
It recommended that individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms undergo testing and seek treatment, especially if they are at higher risk of developing severe complications. High-risk individuals include those aged 60 or over and those with chronic medical conditions.
The World Health Organization has noted that there is no evidence suggesting that the EG.5 and BA.2.86 sub-mutants cause more severe symptoms or illness than the Omicron variant or other existing variants. Monitoring and research on these variants continue to inform public health responses.