(ECNS) -- A new highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.5.1.7. has been identified in Shaoguan, South China’s Guangdong Province. It's the first time the variant has been detected in the Chinese mainland.
The new Omicron variant has caused successive infections in Shaoguan, according to the local government.
The latest outbreak in the city has two major transmission chains, respectively caused by Omicron variants BA.5.1.7 and BF.7, both highly infectious with fast spreading capability.
The subvariant BA.5.1.7 caused several infections on the same transmission chain in the city during a dinner gathering on Oct. 1, said the local government.
At present, temporary intensified epidemic prevention and control measures are implemented in part areas of Wujiang and Zhenjiang districts in the city and residents who want to leave must present negative nucleic acid testing results obtained within 48 hours.
Subvariant BA.5 has dominated coronavirus cases around the globe, as it is the most easily transmissible COVID variant to date, able to evade previous immunity from COVID infection and vaccination, according to WHO reports.