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Kraken subvariant of COVID-19 will not dominate in Russia, expert says

The first Kraken infection case in Russia became known on January 11

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. The XBB1.5 coronavirus sub-variant also dubbed the "Kraken" will not become dominating in Russia, head of the laboratory of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology told TASS.

"The XBB.1.5 (the ‘Kracken’) will remain as individual cases and I have a strong feeling that it will not become dominating later, although everyone has been talking about that just recently. The spread of XBB forms in the US starts from the Kraken and it managed to spread very quickly. It does not have such opportunities in the Russian Federation," Kamil Khafizov said.

At least a half of all new infection cases in Russia are caused in average by different versions of the BA.2 Omicron strain versions, including its XBB recombinant forms. "The BA.2.74 Centaurus with some new mutations is also present," the expert added.

The first Kraken infection case in Russia became known on January 11, followed by the second case on February 3. This subvariant of the Omicron strain has properties enabling it to evade the immune protection more efficiently, the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare noted. At the same time, the probability of its proactive spread is low, the agency said.