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August 8, 2022

HealthMin Rafila : Peak of SARS-CoV-2 infections could be reached in August

The peak of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Romania could be reached between August 14 and 21, two weeks after the estimated period for the rest of the European Union, Minister of Health Alexandru Rafila told a press conference on Monday, in the context in which 7,726 new cases of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 were registered between June 27 and July 3, a number almost double compared to the previous week.

Rafila mentioned that there are two scenarios regarding the evolution of future infections. According to the first scenario, the peak of the wave would be reached between August 7 and 10, and according to the second scenario, the peak will be reached towards the end of August – beginning of September, with a total of about 10,000 daily cases.

“It remains to be seen whether these things will be confirmed in this way. From what I have read, for other states, as well, the presumption is that the peak of this wave in Europe will be somewhere at the end of July. We have a difference of about two weeks. from the rest of the European Union and because of that a probably reasonable scenario will be between August 14-21, but these are purely informative data, they do not represent any kind of commitment, because no one can know exactly what will happen. We are talking about a very mutable virus in which last year’s main feature was the change in transmissibility. Fortunately, with the decrease of pathogenicity,” said the minister.

The Health Minister added that the Omicron variant is still dominant and that there are also cases of infection with the BA 5 variant.

“The Omicron strain is still dominant. 100% of all sequences are with the Omicron variant. We have also recorded cases, but we do not yet have a conclusive statistic about BA 5. (…) As this BA 5 variant becomes dominant internationally, there is no evidence of a higher severity. Higher transmissibility – yes, but not a higher severity. BA 5 re-infections are common, including for people who have been infected with Omicron, so with another subvariant,” Rafila also said.

In this regard, he argued that in the last 90 days in Romania there have been about 20% cases of reinfection. Rafila noted that about five months had passed since the January-February wave, and for most those vaccinated with three doses, at least six months had passed since the administration of the serum.

“It is clear that there is an evasion of the immune response and, basically, this Omicron subvariant, BA 5, causes infections in both vaccinated and people who have passed through the disease. So we estimate an increase in the next period, without having the possibility of an extremely rigorous prediction,” said the minister.

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