(Deutsche Welle Chinese website) Shanghai officials reported on Sunday (July 10) that a local case of the Omicron BA.5.2.1 variant strain appeared in Shanghai, which was an infected person associated with overseas entry. This variant case has brought more challenges to China‘s “dynamic clearing” policy. The authorities will conduct nucleic acid screening for all employees in multiple administrative districts in Shanghai and Jiedao towns with confirmed cases.
At the press conference on Shanghai’s epidemic prevention and control work held on the 10th, Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Health and Health Commission, pointed out that the virus infected by a socially infected person reported in Pudong New Area on July 8 was Omi Kejong BA. .5.2.1 The variant strain is an infected person associated with overseas entry.
Shanghai finally ended its roughly two-month lockdown in early June, but authorities still maintain strict epidemic prevention measures, locking down buildings and communities as soon as a new potential chain of transmission emerges.
Zhao Dandan warned, “Our city has recently continued to report new positive cases of local transmission, and the risk of social spread of the new crown is still very high.” Will undergo two rounds of new crown nucleic acid screening from July 12 to 14 to control a potential new round of the epidemic.
Shanghai issued its first high-temperature red warning this year over the weekend. The weather was hot, and many samplers braved the sweltering heat to conduct nucleic acid tests for the public. China insists on “dynamic clearing”, and many people are also quite nervous in the face of the Omicron variant. It is even rumored on the Internet that this week may be blocked one after another, and there is even a “Hundred Days (Clearing) Action”, but it was blocked by Shanghai The city denied it.
According to Chinese media reports, Shanghai responded to the rumor by saying: “After consulting the city’s prevention and control office, there is no so-called ‘100-day operation’.” However, the authorities also emphasized that since the recent epidemic is still in progress, citizens are requested to “do not gather or gather together, and be sure to take personal protection when going out, and actively cooperate with epidemic prevention requirements such as temperature measurement, code verification, and code scanning,” indicating that the Chinese government is still continuing Strictly controlling the epidemic is very different from the gradual loosening of epidemic control measures in most countries in the world.
Shanghai saw the Omicron BA.5 variant for the first time, and some residents were worried that the previous “closed city” state would be restored. (file photo)
Do not give up “dynamic clearing”
At the press conference on epidemic prevention and control in Shanghai, some media asked what the current situation of the epidemic is and whether it can be controlled. Yuan Zhengan, a member of the expert group of the city’s leading group for epidemic prevention and control, said that from July 3 to July 9, more than 200 local positive infections have been reported, most of which are related to a KTV epidemic case.
He also explained that due to the closed space and gathering of people in places such as KTVs and bars, they were exposed together in the same environment, resulting in the rapid spread of the epidemic in a short period of time. The virus gene sequencing was performed on the found related infected persons, and the results were all Omicron BA.2.2 mutants with high homology. The preliminary analysis was a clustered outbreak of the same transmission chain.
Shanghai said frankly that although the infected people found so far are basically found in the secret control personnel, “the number of infected people is large, they have the characteristics of common exposure, they involve a wide range of social activities, and there is a risk of hidden transmission in the community. The situation is serious and complicated.” Yuan Zhengan made it clear: “We are currently in a critical period of epidemic prevention and control.”
However, the Shanghai Municipal Government pointed out that although the BA.5 variant has accelerated transmission and improved immune escape ability, in general, compared with the previously popular Omicron variant BA.2, the incidence of critical illness and fatality rate is higher. No significant difference in risk was found, adding that “the findings also show that vaccination is still effective in preventing critical illness and death following BA.5 infection.”
While the Shanghai epidemic has made public opinion nervous again, Xi’an has gradually cooled down after 33 confirmed cases in five days. The Omicron variant BA.5.2 appeared in Xi’an earlier, and then strict measures were taken to seal it. However, local media reported that on the evening of Sunday (10th), local shopping malls and night markets have gradually resumed dine-in, and many other scenic spots have also reopened.
Zhang Boli, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, once told the media, “The recent outbreak of a new epidemic in Xi’an has initiated the most stringent epidemic prevention measures after the Spring Festival this year. It is also considered to be the most contagious strain at present.”
China‘s National Health Commission said on Monday (11th) that China added 429 new confirmed cases of the new crown on Sunday, of which 94 were symptomatic, 335 were asymptomatic, and there were no deaths. Since the outbreak began, 5,226 people have died in China due to the new crown disease.
(Reuters, Xinhua News Agency, The Paper, etc.)
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