Monday, March 20, 2023

Study: No new COVID variants from China since zero-COVID policy lifted

Fears that China’s lifting of its zero-COVID coverage might lead to contemporary coronavirus variants appear to have not (but) materialized.

A study revealed in The Lancet on Wednesday discovered there had been no new COVID-19 variants within the nation because it lifted its draconian coverage final yr, a transfer which triggered a surge in instances and deaths.

The evaluation by researchers in China of greater than 400 new instances in Beijing between November 14 and December 20 exhibits that greater than 90 p.c had been of the Omicron subvariants BA.5.2 and BF.7.

These variants are just like those circulating within the EU/EEA in the course of the fall of 2022, earlier than the surge in instances in China, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) mentioned, and there’s no proof they pose a better danger in contrast with these circulating within the EU/EEA now. 

China has been criticized for its lack of transparency all through the pandemic, together with throughout this most up-to-date wave of infections. 

But the EU’s illness company, the ECDC, confirmed that its personal evaluation — which included sequencing instances detected by means of airport arrivals in a number of European international locations and wastewater evaluation of airplanes arriving in Europe from China — discovered that BA.5.2 and BF.7 had been dominant, though they cautioned that this wastewater knowledge is “quite limited and are still being verified.” 

While the authors of the Lancet examine carried out their evaluation in Beijing, they write that the outcomes “could be considered a snapshot of China.”

But others warning towards such a leap.

“The SARS-CoV-2 molecular epidemiological profile in one region of a vast and densely populated country cannot be extrapolated to the entire country,” write Wolfgang Preiser and Tongai Maponga of Stellenbosch University in South Africa in a linked remark in The Lancet. The two weren’t concerned within the examine. 

“In other regions of China, other evolutionary dynamics might unfold, possibly including animal species that could become infected by human beings and spill back a further evolved virus,” they write.

The prevalence of every of the 2 variants — BF.7 and BA.5.2 — varies from province to province, World Health Organization spokesperson Christian Lindmeier advised POLITICO, referring to knowledge from the China CDC.

Travel restrictions

China’s lifting of its zero-COVID insurance policies on the finish of final yr led to EU international locations recommending a raft of journey measures for guests from China.

At its final assembly on Friday, the EU’s de facto emergency disaster discussion board, the IPCR, determined to maintain these measures for now. The difficulty might be reevaluated on the subsequent IPCR assembly scheduled for February 16.

Europe’s airport foyer, ACI Europe, says it could like passenger testing to be dropped.

“We support getting away from testing passengers as a way to track COVID-19, especially in the context of the comprehensive assessment issued by the ECDC on the lack of expected impact of COVID-19 surge in China on the epidemiological situation in the EU/EEA. Airports and airlines call for any travel recommendations to be scientifically driven and risk-based, which is regrettably not the case now,”Agata Łyżnik, communications supervisor at ACI Europe, the European airports’ foyer, advised POLITICO.

With extra reporting from Mari Eccles.

Source link

What's your reaction?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *