China battles worst Covid-19 outbreak in 2 years, goes back to lockdowns as world opens up
China is returning to coronavirus controls many hoped it had long left behind. The country is facing its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the first wave of the pandemic emerged in Wuhan in late 2019
New Delhi (NewsReach) : Most of the countries around the world are moving towards ‘normal life’ with the decline in Covid-19 cases. But China is currently facing its worst outbreak of the virus in two years. On Sunday, the country reported 3,100 new Covid cases in a single day, while 5,280 new cases of corona have been reported in the last 24 hours. Which is the highest in two years. Some local authorities have blamed the Omicron variant for the increase in cases. With the increase in cases, lakhs of people are now living in lockdown in different parts of China.
The Chinese government placed the hi-tech city of Shenzhen under lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. The city has a population of over 17 million. Shenzhen will seal all communities, villages and bus and subway services were suspended from Monday to Sunday. The city of Jilin was partially sealed off, while Yanjim, an urban area of 700,000 people, has been placed under lockdown on Sunday.
By the way, China keeps patting itself on its back regarding its zero covid policy. But when a new wave of corona comes, only lockdown is resorted to. Every person is tested for corona. In view of the outbreak of new variants, China has decided to allow the use of rapid antigen test for the first time for the detection of Covid-19. This has been done to promote early detection of cases. Meanwhile, the city of Shenzhen will conduct three rounds of COVID-19 tests across the city this week.
What Is Stealth Omicron Variant, that is driving cases?
The Stealth Omicron variant, also known as BA.2, is a sub-lineage of the variant. Stealth Omicron is armed with even higher transmission potential, and possibly a greater ability to evade the immune response than the original Omicron. In layman’s words, Stealth Omicron is not a new variant, it is a sister-lineage of the previous Omicron variant (BA.1) which has a growth advantage. However, there is part of this sub-lineage that can be a cause of worry for the experts. BA.2 can escape the RT-PCR test