Statement by TAG-VE at the January 3 Conference on the COVID-19 Situation in China


The Technical Advisory Group on Viral Evolution (TAG-VE) meets regularly to review the latest scientific evidence on circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and whether changes in public health strategy are justified. Advise WHO on TAG-VE He met on January 3, 2023 to discuss her COVID-19 situation in mainland China.

During the conference, scientists from the China CDC presented genomic data from imported and domestically acquired cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. For local infections, the data presented are based on over 2000 genomes collected and sequenced from 1 December 2022. Together, BA.5.2 and BF.7 accounted for 97.5% of all local infections by genome sequencing. Several other known Omicron substrains were also detected, albeit in lower proportions. These variants are known and prevalent in other countries, and no new variants have been reported by the Chinese CDC at this time.

As of January 3, 773 sequences from mainland China have been submitted to the GISAID EpiCoV database, with the majority (564 sequences) collected since December 1, 2022. This information is not provided. Of locally acquired cases, 95% belong to the BA.5.2 or BF.7 lineage. This is consistent with the genomes of travelers from China that other countries have submitted to his GISAID EpiCoV database. No new variants or mutations of known significance have been documented in the published sequence data.

TAG-VE acknowledges the information shared so far and acknowledges the critical need for additional analysis and sharing of sequence data to understand the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the emergence of associated mutations or variants. and repeat importance. This should be done regardless of whether the sequence has her Pango lineage assigned. This is best achieved by rapid and regular storage of data in publicly accessible databases. Maintaining a high level of representative genomic surveillance in China and throughout the world, annotating genomic sequences with relevant clinical and epidemiological metadata, and rapidly sharing such data is a timely global risk. evaluation pillar.

WHO continues to closely monitor the situation in the People’s Republic of China and globally and urges all countries to remain vigilant, monitor and report sequences, and conduct independent comparative analyzes of different omicron substrains. The severity of the illness they cause. At this time, TAG-VE is also assessing the rapidly increasing proportion of XBB.1.5 in the United States and other countries. The updated risk assessment for XBB.1.5 goes beyond its predecessor. statement,in progress.

TAG-VE meets regularly to discuss the transmissibility, clinical severity, and continue to evaluate available data on the potential for immune escape.

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