China urged the United States on Monday to share its epidemic information and data with the World Health Organization and the international community in a timely, open and transparent manner as XBB.1.5, a new Omicron sub-variant, is quickly becoming the dominant strain in the U.S.
"The U.S. should take concrete and effective measures to stem the further spread of the epidemic," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news briefing on Monday.
His remarks came as XBB.1.5 is displacing other variants such as BQ.1.1 and now accounts for more than 40 percent of COVID-19 infections across the U.S..
The open-access data from the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data shows that almost all variants of the novel coronavirus and sub-variants have spread widely in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic, making it one of the countries with the most COVID-19 strains, Wang said.
In another development, Wang called on countries to uphold scientific principles and jointly ensure people's safe and smooth travel after Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg discouraged nonessential trips to China.
While appealing for countries to contribute to international solidarity against the epidemic and the recovery of the world economy, Wang made it clear that China is well-prepared in terms of adjusting and optimizing its COVID-19 prevention and control measures, and the overall epidemic situation in the country is improving.
With the significant weakening of the pathogenicity and virulence of the Omicron mutant strain, and China's medical treatment, virus detection and vaccination capabilities steadily on the rise, the nation has taken the initiative to refine its COVID-19 response measures, Wang said.
Some Chinese provinces and cities have passed the peak of COVID-19 with production and life speeding up to return to normal, he added.
On information sharing, Wang said that China has always adopted an open and transparent attitude and given timely notification to the international community, including on mutation monitoring of the virus and its infected populations.
According to Wang, in the past three years, China has carried out over 60 technical exchanges with the WHO, four of which were conducted in the latest month alone.
The country will continue to share viral genetic data on recent COVID-19 infections within its borders via the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data, he added.