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china: What makes Omicron a challenge that China is finding so tough to overcome

Covid treating zone setup outside the hospital on February 18, 2022 in Hong Kong, China.


Omicron’s high capacity to spread rapidly makes it difficult to control, and renders non-pharmaceutical interventions less effective. The variant is also able to escape from existing antibody therapies and vaccines to a certain extent. Besides, its response in vulnerable populations can be severe, even fatal.

Zhang Wenhong Omicron is posing the greatest challenge yet in China’s ever-changing pandemic situation. With a reproduction number (R0) estimated to be as high as 9.5, one person infected with Omicron can spread the infection to 9.5 persons. Such rapid spread is even faster than chicken pox. And such a fast-spreading virus is difficult to control, forcing the introduction of stricter testing and tracking across China, and even lockdowns in some

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