Highly Infectious Omicron Variant Confirmed in Shanghai

By Ned Kelly, January 15, 2022

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The latest Shanghai COVID-19 cluster has now been confirmed as the highly infectious Omicron variant.

As reported on Friday, Shanghai declared two locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and three local asymptomatic cases.

READ MORE: Shanghai Reports 5 New Local COVID-19 Cases

They were related to an imported asymptomatic COVID-19 case reported in the city on Tuesday.

Genetic sequencing has confirmed the new cases were infected with the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible than the previously dominant Delta variant.

The cases are centered around a store named China Fresh Tea on Yuyuan Lu in Jing’an District, located 200 meters from the No. 1 exit of Jing’an Temple Station.

It remains, for now, Shanghai's only medium-level risk area. 

Mass screenings have been taking place in various parts of the city, with a total of 54,000 related people in Shanghai tested at the time of publication; 304 close contacts and 2,830 secondary contacts have so far undergone quarantine measures. All tested negative.

The imported asymptomatic COVID-19 case, the origin of the five new cases, is a Chinese national studying in the US, who arrived at Pudong International Airport on December 21. 

During the two-week quarantine, the patient tested negative four times. In the ensuing seven-day self-health monitoring period, however, the patient tested positive on the last day, without showing symptoms.

Authorities have reminded people that during the self-health monitoring period, they should not take public transport, gather for meals or dine-in restaurants, or participate in public space activities such as watching movies, exhibitions or meetings. Those that do will bear legal responsibility.

Shanghai also reported 43 imported infections yesterday.


China has identified 19 high-risk areas and 59 medium-risk areas, including the milk tea store in Jing’an District, at the time of publication. Scan the QR to find out where they are and see the latest numbers:

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[Cover image via NIAID-RML]

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