The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has confirmed that a small number of COVID-19 cases carrying the XBB. 1.5 sub-variant were found in the state.

Iran PressAsia: In a respiratory surveillance report released on Thursday, the NSW Ministry of Health (NSW Health) said that it continues to monitor emerging sub-variants including XBB.1.5, of which there have been a small number of detections in the two weeks to Dec. 24, 2022.

According to the report, there is still a highly mixed group of sub-variants circulating, while the BR.2 sub-variant is the most common.

Noting that there were 59,652 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the two weeks to Dec. 31, 2022, the report showed that COVID-19 cases for the week ending Dec. 31 reached 22,281, decreasing 40 percent compared to the previous week.

The NSW Health on Friday updated its weekly COVID-19 case count, saying that 19,793 new cases have been recorded across the state, with 77 lives lost over the seven days to Thursday.

Earlier this week, Robert Booy, a virologist from the University of Sydney, told local media that XBB.1.5 is more transmissible than other sub-variants.

"That just means it's more transmissible and it evades our immunity, however, it's probably not more severe," he added. 


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