New Delhi: The latest subvariant of the Omicron variant BF.7, known as the ‘Omicron spawn‘, that was first detected in China, has reached other countries like the United States, UK, Australia and Belgium.
According to recent reports, the first case of BF.7 has been found in India as detected by the Gujarat Biotechnology Research centre.
Omicron’s new sub-variant BA.5.1.7 is also said to be highly infectious and have greater transmissibility after emerging from a region of Mongolia in China.
BF.7 subvariant was firstly detected in northwest China. Officials from the northern Chinese province of Shandong said that since October 4, locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases were triggered by variant BF.7.
World Health Organisation also released a warning against the highly infectious BF.7, saying it expects the subvariant to become a new dominant variant. “Judging from the characteristics of BF.7, if decisive prevention measures were not adopted in time, there is high possibility that it could become the dominate variant in China as well,” reported the Global Times quoting a professor as saying to a health-based newspaper.
This comes despite China being the world’s last major economy still enforcing strict zero-Covid measures including border restrictions, mass testing, extensive quarantines, and uncompromising snap lockdowns. The ruling Communist Party has used the zero-Covid strategy to argue that its political model is superior to Western democracies, and Xi has thrown his weight behind the policy.