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What’s Arcturus?

Arcturus, the latest variant in the ever-evolving landscape of Covid-19, has been making headlines. But what exactly is Arcturus?


Arcturus is a newly identified subvariant, known as XBB.1.16. It was first detected in late January and is a product of recombination between two other Omicron variants: BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75. Both variants are descendants of the Omicron variant BA.2.

Common Symptoms of Arcturus:

  1. Headaches

  2. Body Pain

  3. Conjunctivitis

  4. Abdominal Discomfort

  5. Sore Throat

In Which Countries Have the Sub-Variant Been Detected? Arcturus has not limited itself to one corner of the world. It has spread to more than 20 countries, including Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and India.

In Singapore, there has been a noticeable surge in Covid-19 cases, with 28,410 cases recorded in the last week of March, nearly double the previous week’s figure of 14,467. While it’s uncertain how many of these cases are attributed to the new subvariant, vigilance is paramount.


In India, the numbers are also on the rise, with 10,518 new cases reported by New Delhi Television on 13 April 2023, marking a 30% increase from the 7,830 instances reported the previous day. The situation is particularly concerning in regions like Maharashtra and Delhi, where cases are surging. The total number of active cases in India now stands at 44,998.

In Malaysia, 12 cases involving the SARS-CoV-2 XBB.1.16 (Arcturus) subvariant have been reported by Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa. It was first reported in March, but authorities assert that the situation is under control, and the nation’s healthcare facilities are not under undue pressure. A cumulative total of 18,319 cases involved variations of concern and VOI.

Protecting Yourself Against Arcturus:

  1. Frequent Handwashing: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

  2. Respiratory Etiquette: Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.

  3. Social Distancing: Maintain physical distance from others.

  4. Mask Up: Always wear a face mask in public spaces.

  5. Vaccination: Get vaccinated to bolster your protection against the virus.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of Covid-19 variants, stay informed and following recommended precautions remain our best defense against the spread of Arcturus and other variants. Stay safe and prioritize your health!




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