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China: Omicron subvariant detected in Beijing

Asia, China, Coronavirus, Deaths, Elderly, Genome, Herd Immunity, Hong Kong, Hospitalization, Infection, Long Covid, Omicron, Quarantine, Reinfection, Testing, Transmission, Variants

Chinese state news has announced that they have uncovered new Covid cases in Beijing caused by a subvariant of Omicron. They haven’t said exactly which subvariant of Omicron though.

“Beijing authorities said on Wednesday that several individual COVID-19 transmission chains were found in the city recently. The officials vowed to unwaveringly uphold the “dynamic-zero” approach despite great complexity of the epidemic prevention work. Some of the cases are infected with an Omicron subvariant, which has little homology with previous cases found in the city or nationwide.

Beijing reported seven new locally transmitted cases on Wednesday, including four in Shunyi district and three in Chaoyang district. The cluster infection at a South Korean-style clothing store in Chaoyang has drawn particular attention. 16 people related to the cluster infection tested positive for coronavirus.

The infection also spread to a kindergarten, infecting one child and one teacher. There are 12 staff members and 113 pre-school children in the kindergarten.

Global Times: Beijing finds multiple COVID-19 transmission chains; Omicron subvariant detected in city

 

The Chinese Global Times newspaper has also published a fierce defence of China’s dynamic zero-COVID policy, pointing out that Omicron has killed more people in Hong Kong than the Delta variant over a specific time period. They also point to the long term effects of infection and the vaccination status of many elderly Chinese as reasons why they should continue with the policy.

Global Times: Omicron just a big flu a misperception

 

Our opinion:

There is no right or perfect way to fight a virus that is hell-bent on infecting every person on the planet. One thing is for sure though; helping the virus achieve its objective by removing all mitigations is not going to work (and we still haven’t seen ANY scientific data to back up the notion).

It’s already apparent that the lifting of Covid mitigations across Europe has allowed dozens of new variants and recombinants to be generated and to proliferate across the globe, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. More variants are sure to come…

PREDICTION: A new variant with pathogenicity that outcompetes all previous variants by a very wide margin is on the way. With vaccines waning, a multi-layered defence of NPI’s may be the only tools we are left with to deal with the new threat. 

 

UPDATE 1 – 10th April 2022:

“Endemic SARS-CoV-2 implies vast transmission resulting in yearly US COVID-19 death tolls numbering in the hundreds of thousands under many plausible scenarios, with even modest increases in the IFR leading to an unsustainable mortality burden.”

Preprint: Endemicity is not a victory: the unmitigated downside risks of widespread SARS-CoV-2 transmission

 

 

China CDC: Deltacron is a “Grey Rhino” event

 

 

Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash