Nov 29, 2021 04:39 PM

Zhang Wenhong: China is Equipped to Deal With the Omicron Covid Variant

Zhang Wenhong. Photo: The Paper
Zhang Wenhong. Photo: The Paper

While the recent flare-up of Covid-19 in Shanghai is entering the closing phase, the new coronavirus variant Omicron is sweeping the world, sparking much concern in various academic forums and among the general public. I’d like to share some of my views:

The discovery of Omicron variant is a very urgent matter and is, without a doubt, the result of the virus’ evolution. As the number of Omicron’s mutations is much larger than that of other known variants, the variant is expected to have evolved over a long period in its host. The SARS-CoV-2 virus leads to acute infections, so it can hardly survive or evolve in a body with normal immunity for a long time, nor are there findings of reassortment like influenza. So it is widely believed that this variant has long been carried by and evolved in bodies with immune deficiencies, such as AIDS patients. After coming into being, the new variant spread by circumstance and quickly outpaced the transmission of existing variants, becoming the dominant strain (90%+) among all recently recorded strains in South Africa.

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