No cases of stealth omicron have been registered in Tajikistan so far, at least according to official data.   

Navrouz Jafarov, an official with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of Tajikistan (MoHSPP), told Asia-Plus in an interview Wednesday that no cases of stealth omicron and other variant of coronavirus have been registered in the country so far.  

“The situation is under control of a MoHSPP and all necessary measures are taken to prevent the spread of the infection,” Jafarov said.  

However, Jafarov had earlier told Asia-Plus that “no one now is safe from the spread of omicron and it is necessary to take stronger measure to prevent the spread of this coronavirus strain.”  

Meanwhile, Uzbek media reports say a variety of the omicron-strain of coronavirus, Stealth-Omicron BA.2, has been identified in Uzbekistan.

The head of the Service for Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health (SES), Mr. Bakhodir Yusupaliyev, announced this in an interview with UzA on June 23.

According to him, this strain was detected in Uzbekistan and is observed in patients with coronavirus infection.  Analysis of the virus genome (sequencing) at the Center for Advanced Technologies of the Ministry of Innovative Development reportedly revealed the Omicron strain in 67% of those infected, and Stealth-Omicron BA.2 in 33%.

He stated that in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, it is important to speed up the vaccination of the population against coronavirus infection and revaccination with a booster dose.

Recall, Uzbekistan tightened pandemic restrictions in January as the first case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 virus was confirmed in the country.

A foreign citizen who arrived in Uzbekistan on January 8 was confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant, and pandemic restrictions, such as wearing masks, keeping social distance and checking body temperatures were tightened.

The Uzbek Republican Special Commission announced January 10 that starting from January 15, foreign visitors will have to submit a negative PCR test for coronavirus infection taken within 48 hours before arrival.  In the absence of PCR test results, it is necessary to take an express test for coronavirus infection at airports, railway stations and border checkpoints, the Commission noted. 

Since it was first identified in November last year, BA.2 has been spreading around the globe, driving new surges in parts of Asia and Europe.  It was given the “stealth” nickname because it looks like the earlier delta variant on certain PCR tests, while the original omicron, by contrast, is easy to differentiate from delta because of a genetic quirk.  In rare cases, early research indicates BA.2 can infect people even if they have already had an omicron infection. COVID-19 vaccines appear just as effective against both kinds of omicron, offering strong protection against severe illness and death.