The WHO says it is closely monitoring what China is doing with its worst wave so far.

Shanghai, home to the world’s largest container shipping port, launched a two-part lockdown on March 28 and has yet to announce when sanctions will be lifted.

Yang Jianjheng | Visual China Group | Getty Images

The World Health Organization said on Monday it was watching a large increase in cases of covid in mainland China, with local officials blaming the more contagious Omicron BA.2 subverter.

Dr Kate O’Brien, director of the WHO’s Immunization and Vaccine Program, said the agency was in contact with China’s public health authorities about its covid resuscitation. WHO officials say they need to monitor regional lockdowns and the country’s vaccine effectiveness, but do not have enough information.

A statement from the agency said, “We will continue to follow the situation as it continues to emerge and respond to the situation so that we can understand the nature of the case, the nature of the underlying immunization and other factors there.” Said. Geneva headquarters.

The comments come as China is grappling with its worst Kovid outbreak since the virus was first discovered in Uhan two years ago. Although the caseload of most countries is low, mainland China reported 1,184 new, symptomatic and 26,411 asymptomatic covid cases on Sunday – the highest number ever recorded in a single day, according to the Chinese National Health Commission.

To control the outbreak, the country has restored lockdowns in some parts of the country and provided online education for some students, especially in Shanghai, where more than 26,000 cases were reported on Sunday.

Shanghai’s nearly 26 million residents remained in lockdown for about a week as the city was about to end a two-stage shutdown. Citywide lockdowns include work orders from home and ride healing and suspension of public transit.

This is part of China’s zero-tolerance covid policy to use regional lockdowns to prevent outbreaks, which helped the country recover from the initial wave of the epidemic in early 2020.

Dr. Alejandro Craviotto, chairman of the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Vaccine Experts, said the recent outbreak, especially the rapid spread of BA.2 across the country, would make it “important” to see if such lockdowns were fully effective. He noted that the new subvariant was more contagious than the original Covid strain, although its transmission was initially mild or asymptomatic.

Kraviotto added that the WHO lacks adequate information about the covid vaccine administered in China.

The group recently reviewed data on an mRNA vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics, a clinical-stage vaccine company in China, according to a WHO press release. However, Cravioto’s Group “will not make any recommendations until the product is listed by the WHO for emergency use,” the press release said.

Referring to the effectiveness of China’s “serious” lockdown system, Kraviotto said, “Until we really get the information out, we can’t comment further.”

Casino Biologics has not yet been conducted by Chinese citizens. The vaccine developer said last week that its mRNA vaccine has been approved by China’s medical product regulator for entry into clinical trials.

According to Bloomberg, Chinese officials said last month that covid vaccines already operating in China have been updated to combat Omicron and other strains. Vaccines in China have been deactivated, meaning they work using dead or weakened viruses to build up immunity.

But preliminary lab research has shown that vaccines invented by the Chinese company Synovac Biotech and SynoPharm provide less protective antibodies against Omicron than Pfizer and the modern mRNA vaccine, Bloomberg reports.

As of April 5, 88.5% of China’s population had received at least one dose of the covid vaccine, according to Hour World In Data.

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