The Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday, Oct. 28 that Singapore imported the AY.4.2 Delta subvariant for the first time via a Covid-19 case as at Tuesday, Oct. 26.
But there was no evidence of spread to the community from the case, MOH added.
MOH said AY.4.2 is currently expected to be similar to other Delta subvariants in terms of transmissibility and severity of illness.
Effects of the subvariant are still being studied.
What WHO and others are saying about subvariant
The subvariant is not a variant of concern, but has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a variant of interest.
Also known as the Delta Plus variant, the subvariant is a mutation of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
It is a combination of the AY.4 Delta variant and the S:Y145H spike mutation.
According to The Straits Times, citing BBC and Newsweek, the prevalence of the AY.4.2 subvariant so far is more than 6 per cent of all cases reported in Britain, while Australia and Japan registered one case each as at Oct. 19.
One explanation put forth about this subvariant being less infectious is that it is occurring at a low frequency, and any increase in its transmissibility, even at, say, 10 per cent more, would only result in a small additional number of cases.
As comparison, Alpha and Delta were far more transmissible at 50 per cent or more than any strain in circulation.
Follow and listen to our podcast here
Top photo via Mothership