China reports cases of a new, more transmissible Delta strain, 'sub-lineage AY.4'

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Dec 13, 2021, 03:45 PM(IST)

The report quoted a Zhejiang official with the provincial centre for disease control and prevention as saying that AY.4 is highly transmissible and has a significantly higher viral load than the original novel coronavirus. Photograph:( Others )

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In order to prevent the virus from spreading further, local authorities have restricted public gatherings and out-of-province travel from the province that has a population of 64.6 million

In China, 138 locally-transmitted cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Zhejiang Province. These cases are said to be from the new Delta strain, "sub-lineage AY.4", prompting authorities in the province to bar millions of people from travelling to other parts of the country.

A surge in Coronavirus cases that too shortly before the Winter Olympics, which is set to take place in Beijing in February 2022, has become the cause of anxiety among officials.

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The state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday that Zhejiang province has recorded 138 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and one asymptomatic carrier since December 5-12.

According to Chinese state television, CGTN-TV, this is the first time China has reported a new strain of the Delta Coronavirus.

On Sunday, Hangzhou, the provincial headquarters reported that of the 138 cases in Zhejiang, 44 cases were reported in Ningbo, 77 cases in Shaoxing, and 17 cases in Hangzhou, the provincial capital.

According to the report, it was determined from whole-genome sequencing and analysis that the cases in the three cities were caused by the Delta strain 'sub-lineage AY.4'. 

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The report quoted a Zhejiang official with the provincial centre for disease control and prevention as saying that AY.4 is highly transmissible and has a significantly higher viral load than the original novel coronavirus.

In order to prevent the virus from spreading further, local authorities have restricted public gatherings and out-of-province travel from the province that has a population of 64.6 million.

As per National Health Commission data, 101 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded on China's mainland on Sunday, with 80 linked to local transmissions and 21 linked to overseas transmissions.

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Further, 17 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, and 444 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

On Monday, 80 cases were reported across the country, including 74 in Zhejiang, five in Inner Mongolia, and one in Shaanxi.

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China, which has effectively curbed international travel, has been reporting sporadic cases of Coronavirus, raising doubts about its zero-case policy.

As of Sunday, 99,780 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been recorded in China since the virus broke out in the central city of Wuhan in 2019.

Of this number, 1,381 patients remain in treatment, 27 of them in severe condition. In all, 93,763 patients have been discharged from hospitals on the mainland and 4,636 have died from the virus. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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