XBB.1.16 or “Arcturus”. This is the name of a new, easily transmissible sub-variant of omicron, which is currently causing a rapid increase in corona infections in India. Within two weeks, the number of infections rose by a full 281 percent. Reason enough for the Indian expert Vipin Vashishta to warn about this via Twitter. Because: In the once infected country of India, a large part of the population is largely immune. However, “Arcturus” is rampant and is spreading rapidly in India.
WHO expert warns of new corona variant “Arcturus”
“All eyes should be on India! If XBB.1.16 aka ‘Arcturus’ could manage to break the ‘robust’ population immunity of Indians who have successfully withstood the onslaught of variants like BA.2.75, BA.5, BQs, XBB.1.5 then the whole seriously worry the world,” writes Vashishta, who is also a member of the WHO Vaccines Group.
Already two “Arcturus” cases in Germany
What this means for Germany: The corona incidence is currently increasing again in Germany, but at a low level. Even if the danger of a new corona wave seems to have been averted, it makes sense to look at the corona development outside of Germany. Because: The first infections with the “Arcturus” virus were also reported in other countries. The second most cases are in the USA, but there are also first cases of the omicron sub-variant in Austria and Germany. So far there has been one case in Bavaria and one in Baden-Württemberg.
Meanwhile, another Indian corona expert and former head of the Corona task force in India, Dr. Randeep Guleria to appease the “Arcturus” warning. He currently sees no reason to panic, since most cases are not serious and the infections can be contained with appropriate behavior.