Leadership within the province of Ontario says they are keeping a close eye on the BA.2 sub-variant that is causing havoc in some parts of the world.

Ontario Minister of Health and Deputy Premier, Christine Elliott said in a press conference on Tuesday, the province's top doctor is examining the situation.

“Dr. Moore is studying it. We expect that it may be the 50 per cent of the cases we have in Ontario within the next short period of time,” said Elliott.

Elliott added the sub-variant that is an origin of the original Omicron variant is not increasing hospitalizations or ICU admissions.

“We have built up our system. We have built up another 3,100 extra beds. Dr. Moore feels that we will be able to handle this variant without any further disruptions to services in Ontario.”

As of March 16, 2022, Ontario’s hospitalizations continue to drop as only 649 were reported, down 92 from the week prior.

Though the new BA.2 variant will soon become the new dominant strain in the province, Elliott didn’t seem to indicate that would force the province to reverse its mask mandate that will take effect on Monday (March 21, 2022).

Scientists and doctors have described the sub-variant as the “stealth” variant due to higher transmissibility and different mutations from the original Omicron.

Some countries around the world have been hit hard with the new sub-variant causing COVID-19 cases to surge. 

Scotland extended their mask mandate by two weeks, which was expected to end on March 21, 2022, due to the surge of COVID-19 cases from the sub-variant.

Germany is reporting recorded high daily infections with more than 250,000 new cases a day, while France, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands are seeing a surge in COVID-19 infections as well.