ALGIERS- The Omicron variant remains “the predominant variant currently in our country, representing 95% of circulating strains, against 5% for the Delta variant”, said the Pasteur Institute of Algeria on Monday in a press release.
“In the continuity of the sequencing activities carried out at the level of the reference laboratory for the detection and monitoring of the different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the sequencing carried out on the samples received from the different wilayas of the country, demonstrated that Omicron variant remains the predominant variant currently in our country, representing 95% of circulating strains, against 5% for the Delta variant,” read the communiqué.
The Institute also noted that the distribution rates of the sub-variants of the Omicron variant, BA.1 and BA.2, detected during the last two weeks of January and the first week of February, stood from 52% to 44% for BA.1 and from 48% to 56% for BA.2.
Do note that Omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous delta variant, according to studies. Omicron spreads even more easily than other coronavirus strains, and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.
The inoculation rate in Algeria remains low. Less than a quarter of the population has had even one vaccine dose despite the government’s robust vaccination campaign in state media and on social networks.
In December, Algeria started requiring a vaccine passport to enter many public venues, seeking to overcome vaccine hesitancy that has left millions of vaccines unused.
The pass is also required for anyone entering or leaving Algeria, as well as for entering sports facilities, cinemas, theaters, museums, town halls and other sites like hammams — bath houses that are popular across the region.