China Reports No Cases of XBB 1.5 Omicron Subvariant Detected So Far


A virology expert part of China’s disease prevention team assured on January 14, 2023 that since October 16 cases of local infection due to the new XBB.1.5 variant have been reported in the country. This variant has increased transmissibility of the virus across the globe according to Chen Cao, a researcher of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infections with this variant have been reported in at least 40 countries and regions with the BA.5.2 and BF.7 subvariants predominating among the 19 omicron substrains recorded in China between December 1, 2022 and January 10, 2023.

The rapid spread of the virus prompts doubt over the accuracy of the official number of reported virus-related deaths. The World Health Organization’s Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had recently asserted that China has not been providing complete information about the infections and death toll.

Chen Cao, on the other hand, noted that China had shared information “in an open, timely and transparent manner” since the start of the pandemic. China called for “transparency” from US which is currently experiencing around 40% of covid cases from the XBB.1.5 variant.

A study by Peking University revealed that approximately 900 million people in China have already been infected with the virus. Chinese experts predict the peak incidence of covid cases to continue “until February or March”.

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