A new Omicron subtype has been detected in China and the preliminary report suggests that this subtype does not match the previous coronavirus that caused COVID nor the ones submitted to GISAID. All that is known till now is that the subtype has emerged from the family of BA.1.1.
Reports suggested that the new subtype has been detected in east China’s Suzhou, which borders Shanghai. A patient in the region has been infected with a mutation VOC/Omicron variant BA.1.1, unidentified in previously found strains, posing new threats.
How is it different from previously identified variants:
- Experts have stated that this subtype might have evolved from the BA.1.1 strain of the Omicron variant.
- The new subtype found in China is not related to the new COVID-19 mutant ‘XE’ of the Omicron variant.
Strict lockdown in Shanghai
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities extended a lockdown in Shanghai to cover all of the financial centre’s 26 million people on Tuesday after city-wide testing saw new COVID-19 cases surge to more than 13,000 amid growing public anger over quarantine rules.
The lockdown now covers the entire city after restrictions in its western districts were extended until further notice, in what has become a major test of China’s zero-tolerance strategy to eliminate the novel coronavirus.
At least 38,000 personnel have been deployed to Shanghai from other regions in what state media has described as the biggest nationwide medical operation since the shutdown of the city of Wuhan in early 2020 after the first known coronavirus outbreak there.