China’s Shanghai says new Omicron subvariant found

China’s Shanghai says new Omicron subvariant found
A medical worker watches people waiting in line for Coronavirus PCR test in testing booth on the street, in Shanghai, China, 08 July 2022. EPA-EFE/ALEX PLAVEVSKI

SHANGHAI, July 10 (Reuters) - The city of Shanghai has discovered a Covid-19 case involving a new subvariant Omicron BA.5.2.1, an official told a briefing on Sunday, signalling the complications China faces to keep up with new mutations as it pursues its "zero-COVID" policy.

The case, found in the financial district of Pudong on July 8, was linked with a case from overseas, said Zhao Dandan, vice-director of the city’s health commission.

Shanghai, in eastern China, emerged from a lockdown lasting around two months at the start of June, but it has continued to impose tough restrictions, locking down buildings and compounds as soon as new potential transmission chains emerge.

“Our city has recently continued to report more locally transmitted positive cases (of COVID-19) and the risk of the epidemic spreading through society remains very high,” Zhao of the Shanghai health commission warned.

He said residents in several major Shanghai districts would undergo two rounds of COVID tests, from July 12-14, in a bid to bring potential new outbreaks under control.

The Omicron BA.5 variant, which is driving a new wave of COVID-19 infections overseas, was first discovered in China on May 13 in a 37-year old male patient who had flown to Shanghai from Uganda, according to the China Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Variant BA.5 has been shown to have an accelerated rate of transmission and an improved immune escape capability, said Yuan Zhengan, a member of the city’s expert advisory group on COVID prevention, speaking at the Sunday briefing.

But vaccination is still effective at preventing BA.5 from causing serious illness or death, he added.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Pravin Char)


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

Make your taxes work for you

Donate to Daily Maverick’s non-profit arm, the Scorpio Investigative Unit, by 29 February 2024 and you’ll qualify for a tax break.

We issue Section 18A tax certificates for all donations made to Daily Maverick. These can be presented to SARS for tax relief.

Make your donation today

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Otsile Nkadimeng - photo by Thom Pierce

A new community Actionist every week.

Meet the South Africans making a difference. Get Maverick Citizen in your inbox.