China has not detected the XAY.2 variant of COVID-19, a hybrid of the AY.45 Delta variant and the BA.4/5 Omicron variant, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.
Chang Zhaorui, a researcher at the Chinese CDC, said Thailand has recently reported cases of the XAY.2 variant, which was first detected in South Africa on Aug 31. The new variant has also been detected in nine other countries and regions.
Since December last year, the number of XAY.2 cases has been increasing in some countries, including Denmark, she said at a news conference.
There has not been enough data to conclude how transmissible or lethal the new variant is or about its ability to cause breakthrough infections, she said.
Although XAY.2 has not been detected in China, the country will closely track the variant's status in other nations and watch carefully for the possible emergence of new variants domestically, she said.
People are still advised to take personal protection measures and form good sanitary habits, such as wearing masks, washing hands and keeping their homes ventilated, Chang said.
Inbound travelers who have COVID-19 related symptoms should also closely monitor their health and get medical help if necessary, she added.