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.
“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-19 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.
But vaccination is still effective at preventing BA.5 from causing serious illness or death, he added.