Beijing [China]: Around 500 people were found infected with COVID-19 over five days at a tourist resort in China’s Guangxi region, according to local media.
Global Times reported that the outbreak left over 2,000 tourists stranded in Beihai city due to a coronavirus flare-up that hit the holiday resort. The city of Beihai located in the south of Guangxi is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the region.
Since the first asymptomatic infection was reported in Beihai on July 12, a total of nine local confirmed patients and 444 asymptomatic infections had been registered as of Saturday, according to a press briefing on Sunday, Global Times reported.
According to the local health commission of Guangxi, a number of cities including Beihai, Nanning, Guilin, Hezhou and Chongzuo have been affected by the outbreak.
Apart from the nine confirmed cases and 444 silent carriers reported in Beihai, a total of 30 asymptomatic infections have been reported in other cities in the autonomous region.
The new wave of COVID-19 cases has been triggered by new emerging Omicron sub-variants, with nine such sub-variants all classified as forms of Omicron reportedly having been spreading among 12 regions since July, Global Times reported.
In Guangxi, Beihai city has been hardest hit by Omicron.
Chinese health authorities said that the locally-transmitted cases circulated in Gansu were identified as BA.2.38. The virulent strain has strong transmissibility and concealment, which is not conducive to early detection.
Recently, China enforced a lockdown in Xian, home to 13 million people after the city reported the first cases of a new Omicron subvariant. The lockdown was implemented after Xian reported 18 COVID-19 infections from Saturday to Monday, all of which are of the Omicron BA.5.2 subvariant, according to local disease control officials.
BA.5.2 is a sub-lineage of BA.5, which is already dominant in the US and appears to escape antibody responses among both people previously infected with COVID-19 and those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted, according to researchers.
It is the first time the subvariant has been reported in China, one of the last places in the world still adhering to a stringent zero-Covid policy.
Due to the latest outbreak in Beijing, millions of people are facing mandatory testing and thousands are under targeted lockdowns, just days after the city started to lift widespread curbs that had run for more than a month to tackle a broader outbreak since late April.