Chinese Shanghai says a new Omicron sub-variant has been found

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The city of Shanghai has detected a case of COVID-19 related to a new variant of Omicron BA.5.2.1, an official said at a press briefing on Sunday, referring to the complexities China faces in keeping pace with new mutations as it seeks to… achieved. No COVID policy.

Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the city’s health commission, said the case, which was found in Pudong’s financial district on July 8, is related to an overseas case.

Shanghai, in eastern China, emerged from a nearly two-month lockdown at the beginning of June, but continued to impose strict restrictions, shutting down buildings and complexes as soon as new potential transport chains emerged.

“Our city has recently continued to report more locally transmitted positive cases (of COVID-19) and the risk of the epidemic in the community is still very high,” warned Zhao of the Shanghai Health Commission.

He said residents in several major Shanghai areas will undergo two rounds of COVID tests, from July 12 to 14, in an effort to control the potential new outbreak.

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

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

He added that vaccination is still effective in preventing BA.5 from causing serious illness or death.

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(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Praveen Shar)

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