Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Health

57 cases of new Omicron subvariant detected in China

By LI LEI | | Updated: 2023-04-26 17:18
Share - WeChat

China has detected 57 COVID-19 cases caused by the new Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16 as of Saturday, a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention researcher said on Wednesday.

The variant poses a lower risk of global spread than XBB.1.5 and other subvariants, researcher Chen Cao said, citing conclusions reached by the World Health Organization.

Although XBB.1.16 has certain transmission advantages and immune escape capabilities compared to XBB.1.5, there have been no reports of increased hospitalization and deaths. Compared with other Omicron subvariants, there have also been no reports of an increase in critical cases, he said.

"We will closely monitor and analyze the trends of future changes," Chen told a news conference held by the State Council's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism, the country's COVID-19 control task force.

Also known as Arcturus, XBB.1.16 was first detected in January and began spreading in various countries, including India, the United States, Singapore and Australia.

Chen said that monitoring data shows that domestic cases are still mainly composed of Omicron's BA.5.2 and BF.7 strains and their sub-lineages, though cases of XBB and its sub-lineages are growing rapidly.

The XBB subvariants have become the dominant strain among imported cases, and the proportion of them among domestic cases has increased significantly, from 1.5 percent in early March to 18 percent between April 10 and 19, he added.

Speaking at the news conference, He Qinghua, an official with the National Administration for Disease Control and Prevention's disease control division, said that China's fever clinic monitoring data shows that the COVID-19 infection rate is stable nationwide after dropping in early April to its lowest level since December.

However, since mid-April, there has been a slight uptick in cases. Those infected are mainly those who have not been infected, whose immunity has declined, or who have immune deficiencies, he said.

He said that the increase is a result of various factors, including a decrease in immunity among some groups, and said the possibility of a large-scale, nationwide outbreak in the short term is slim.

"The overall situation of epidemic prevention and control in China has remained stable, with sporadic local outbreaks in some areas and a small increase in the number of cases in certain regions," he said.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349