The patient was diagnosed with the Omicron BA.5 subvariant after arriving in Shanghai from Uganda in late April. Previously, China also identified the first cases of several Omicron subvariants, namely BA.4, BA.2.3, and BA.2.12.1. So, is this subvariant dangerous?
Stay cool. According to a virologist and professor from the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, Jin Dongyan, it is very natural that the Covid virus is still mutating and giving rise to new variants.
“If the virus remains prevalent and exhibits current transmission characteristics, it is quite normal that its nearly 30,000 nucleotides will have one or two mutations per month, while the mutant strain will not change too much,” Jin told the Global Times, quoted Wednesday (1/6). /2022).
“In fact, the mutation rate of COVID-19 is at a low level compared to other viruses,” he continued.
Previously, the Omicron BA.5 subvariant was first discovered in South Africa in February. The subvariant has led to an increase in that country in recent weeks and has even spread to 19 other countries over 3 months.
“BA.4 and BA.5 have three amino acid mutations in their echinoderm proteins, compared to BA.2. So, WHO also said it will continue to monitor them,” concluded Jin.
Previously, the Chinese Center for Infectious Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) said the patient departed Uganda on April 25 with stops in the Netherlands and South Korea on April 26 and April 27, respectively.
The patient has now left the hospital on May 12, the CCDC said.
Shanghai has finally relaxed various restrictions on the Covid-19 virus. This was done after two months of implementing a regional lock-down policy.
Meanwhile, this policy itself has devastated the Chinese economy. The commercial hub of 25 million people was partially closed from late March, when variants of the Omicron virus began to spread.
Meanwhile, after some rules were gradually relaxed, authorities on Wednesday began allowing residents in areas deemed low-risk to move freely around the city.