A total of 9 mutant strains of coronavirus have been reported in 12 locations in China since July, according to statistics from People's Daily Health. Among them, the BA.5 strain, known as the most transmissible strain in history, has an r0 value of up to 18 and has an extremely strong re-infection ability.
In the summer of 2022, Europe, the USA, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and others are entering a new wave of epidemic peaks, and these new mutant strains are starting a new round of the pandemic.
Deputy leader of the Zhejiang Provincial Epidemiology Expert Team and Deputy Director of the Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said: "Regarding the 'increased transmission power' and 'breakthrough spread' of new coronavirus strains, it may be possible to explain the extremely strong replication and proliferation ability. "Because the virus multiplies rapidly in a short period of time, the incubation period is short, so it spreads very quickly and can be transmitted to many people in two to three days. The immune system does not have time to recognize it and a so-called breakthrough infection occurs."
In addition to breakthrough infection and re-infection, more alarming findings are that strains BA.4 and BA.5 are more "pathogenic".
But several Chinese virologists and epidemiologists have reported that, in general, the new mutant strains should not cause additional concern, BA.5 and BA.2 are not very different, the existing experience is enough to deal with them. And in Europe and the United States, most countries have not taken additional measures in the face of a new round of epidemics caused by BA.5.
However, according to the Chinese media, the objective reality is that Omicron is quite dangerous and low prevalence may become the new normal in the future.
Until it becomes clear how dangerous new strains of coronavirus are in all countries of the world, it is very likely that China will take a wait-and-see attitude, maintaining existing restrictions on border crossings.