4th COVID Wave Coming Soon China Records Highest Daily COVID Surge In 2 Years UK Sees Nearly 5 Million Cases

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New Delhi: Even as the world saw decline in COVID cases, the pandemic is far from over. COVID-19 cases in China’s largest city of Shanghai are still rising as experts worry about a fourth wave. Millions in Shanghai remain isolated at home under a sweeping lockdown. On Sunday, Shanghai reported 438 confirmed cases detected over the previous 24 hours, along with 7,788 asymptomatic cases. Both figures were up slightly from the day before.Also Read – WHO Suspends UN Supply of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin Vaccine for COVID-19

While small by the standards of some countries, the daily case numbers are some of the largest since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019. Shanghai with its 26 million people last week began a two-stage lockdown, with residents of the eastern Pudong section supposed to be allowed to leave their homes Friday, while their neighbors in the western Puxi section underwent their own four-day isolation period.

Despite that assurance, millions in Pudong continue to be confined to their homes amid complaints over food deliveries and the availability of medications and health services.

In Hong Kong, authorities asked the entire population of more than 7.4 million people to voluntarily test themselves for COVID-19 at home for three days in a row starting next week. The announcement by Chief Executive Carrie Lam came as the southern Chinese city is struggling to contain its worst outbreak with authorities sending mixed signals about testing and lockdowns. Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory, lifted a ban on residents returning aboard flights from nine countries where COVID-19 cases have surged, including Britain and the US.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of COVID-19 in the UK has reached record levels, with about 1 in 13 people estimated to be infected with the virus in the past week, according to the latest figures from Britain’s official statistics agency.

Some 4.9 million people were estimated to have the coronavirus in the week ending March 26, up from 4.3 million recorded in the previous week, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. The latest surge is driven by the more transmissible omicron variant BA.2, which is the dominant variant across the UK.

Hospitalizations and death rates are again rising, although the number of people dying with COVID-19 is still relatively low compared with earlier this year.

WHO Warns Of New COVID Mutant Strain XE

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of a new COVID-19 mutant of the Omicron variant which could be most transmissible. The new COVID mutant ‘XE’ is a hybrid strain of two Omicron subvariants. The WHO stated that this new COVID mutant strain XE as indicated by early studies showed that its growth rate advantage is 10 per cent as compared to BA.2.

According to WHO, XE is a recombinant which is mutation of BA’1 and BA.2 Omicron strains. These recombinant mutations emerge when a patient is infected by multiple variants of coronavirus. UK experts said in British Medical Journal that the variants mix up their genetic material during replication and form a new mutation.

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