Xi’an on lockdown as China reports first cases of highly transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.5

Fears of more lockdowns in China after a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. A new Omicron subvariant — the most contagious yet — has been detected in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. The provincial capital, Xi’an, which is home to 13 million residents, is in a week-long partial lockdown after a handful of cases were reported in recent days. It’s the first major Chinese city to declare a fight against the BA.5.2 subvariant — seen as more infectious than the BA.2 subvariant found in earlier outbreaks in China. China is the last major economy to keep up with the zero-COVID strategy.

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