A new omicron subtype of the coronavirus has been discovered in China, and preliminary findings indicate that it does not match either the earlier variant that caused COVID-19 or the ones reported to GISAID. So far, all that is known is that the subtype evolved from the BA.1.1 family of the coronavirus.

According to reports, the new variety was discovered in east China’s Suzhou, which borders Shanghai. A patient in the region was infected with a mutation VOC/omicron variation BA.1.1, which had previously been undetected in previously discovered strains, offering new dangers.

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What separates it from previously found variants:

Experts believe that this subtype arose from the BA.1.1 strain of the omicron variety.

The novel subtype discovered in China is unrelated to the newly discovered COVID-19 mutant ‘XE‘ of the omicron variety.

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Strict lockdown in Shanghai

Meanwhile, Chinese officials extended a lockdown in Shanghai to include all of the city’s 26 million inhabitants on Tuesday, after city-wide testing revealed that the number of new COVID-19 cases had risen to moreover 13,000, partly to public outrage about quarantine laws.

The city is currently under lockdown after restrictions on its western areas were extended until further notice, in what has become a key test of China’s zero-tolerance stance for eradicating the new coronavirus.

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At least 38,000 staff have been dispatched from various provinces to Shanghai in what state media has characterised as the largest statewide medical operation since the city of Wuhan was shut down in early 2020 following the first reported outbreak of COVID-19 there.