New Zealand on Tuesday reported two community cases of Omicron BA.2.75, the first time the subtype has been detected in the country.
The health ministry said both the cases are linked to known imported cases. This is in addition to the previously reported six BA.2.75 cases, all linked to recent foreign travel, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the ministry, BA.2.75 is the recently identified second generation subvariant of BA.2, which is the dominant variant prevalent in New Zealand at this stage.
BA.2.75 has recently been identified as distinct from BA.2 and evidence on its transmissibility, immune reversal and severity is still preliminary and emerging.
New Zealand reported 10,772 new community cases of Covid and 21 more deaths from the pandemic, it said, adding 348 Covid cases have recently traveled abroad.
Currently 788 COVID patients are being treated in hospitals, including 20 in intensive care units or high dependency units.
New Zealand has reported 1,508,837 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the country was hit by the pandemic in early 2020.