The mutant strain of Omicron BA.2.12.1 has appeared in Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province, China. This is the first time this mutant variant has surfaced in mainland China.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on May 16. Accordingly, on April 23, a flight from Nairobi, Kenya, arrived at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in southern Guangdong Province.

After that, all passengers were quarantined at a hotel for 14 days.

On April 27, a vaccinated 27-year-old Chinese man who claimed he had not been exposed to COVID-19 in the previous 14 days tested positive for COVID. After diagnosis, he was transferred to Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital for treatment.

Three days later, he was confirmed to be infected with the BA.2.12.1 subvariant.

The most recent subvariant is more efficient at evading vaccination immunity. It is also discovered to be 30% more transmissible than the original Omicron strain.

The China CDC said in the report, “Several studies have shown that the transmissibility of BA.2.12.1 is about 23 percent to 27 percent faster than that of [earlier subvariant] BA.2.”

Many places in Guangzhou are now under control. Starting from May 15, communities in Guangzhou have carried out large-scale nucleic acid testing.

Many pictures posted on the internet show that citizens lined up in long queues to take COVID tests.

Also, on May 15, a video emerged on Weibo that shows that panic and chaos occurred in Jindu Mall, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou. People in business and customers were afraid of being locked inside. So, they rushed out the door to escape the mall as soon as possible.

Another video shows that on May 15, people inside a commercial shopping mall in Guangzhou’s Yuexiu District lined up for nucleic acid tests before they were able to leave.

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