There have been no local cases of the COVID-19 Omicron XBB.1.5 detected in China so far, according to a virology expert at a press conference for COVID-19 response held Friday.
Since October, there have been 16 local infection cases of Omicron XBB subvariants in China, said Chen Cao, a research fellow at the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The XBB.1.5, a sub-strain of the Omicron XBB, has strengthened transmissibility. By Jan. 12, XBB.1.5 infections had been reported in at least 40 countries and regions around the world, Chen said.
Between Dec. 1, 2022 and Jan. 10 of this year, a total of 19 sub-strains of the Omicron variant were monitored across China, with the BA.5.2 and BF.7 subvariants being predominant, Chen said.