Local health authorities in Qingdao, Shandong Province, yesterday reported the province’s first case of the more contagious variant of COVID-19.
After a genetic sequencing analysis of an imported case from the United Kingdom where the new strain was first detected, the variant known as B.1.1.7 was confirmed, Shandong Health Commission officials said.
Qingdao is the third Chinese city where the new strain has been detected along with Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Kou Zengqiang, director of the Shandong Institute for Infectious Disease Control and Prevention, said the public needn’t panic because the carrier is isolated and the variant won’t enter local communities.
Kou said detection of the new variant proves the current monitoring system is reliable.