Ukraine has recorded the first case of an infection with the new strain of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron XBB.1.5, also known as Kraken, the press service of the Ministry of Health reported on Jan. 24.
The infection was recorded in Sumy Oblast in a person who had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
According to the World Health Organization, Kraken has no specific mutations that would make it more dangerous than other variants of the virus. Compared to previous variants, it is the most effective at evading the human immune response and can cause serious illness in the elderly and immunocompromised, according to the WHO.
The Ministry of Health stresses that immunization is the main way to protect against a severe course of coronavirus disease and potentially new variants.
Ukraine has extended the quarantine due to the coronavirus epidemic until April 30, 2023.
In May 2022, the Ministry of Health reported that due to the full-scale Russian invasion, a number of anti-epidemic regulations in Ukraine had been eased.
The division of oblasts into green, yellow, and red zones was temporarily suspended, and employees who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 were no longer suspended from work. The requirement to have a COVID certificate for traveling between regions, using the services of restaurants, gyms, cultural institutions, etc. has also been canceled.
At the same time, wearing a mask remains recommended to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.