China’s recent coronavirus outbreak, the worst since the pandemic began, has surged due to “stealth omicron” — omicron variant’s subvariant, BA.2.

Why it matters: China — one of the largest countries in the world — has been championing a “zero COVID” policy by implementing a number of measures to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

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China is facing its biggest COVID-19 outbreak since 2020

What’s happening: China has seen a massive wave of COVID-19 in recent weeks as the omicron variant’s subvariant — BA.2 — made its way into the country, according to NPR.

  • The majority of cases have been in the northeastern Jilin province.
  • The city of Shenzhen had 75 cases, which prompted a lockdown of the city.
  • “The surge on the Chinese mainland is infecting people in cities ranging from Shenzhen to Qingdao on the coast, to Xingtai in the north and the numbers have crept steadily higher since early March,” according to NPR.

What they’re saying: “Because of the large number of cases in a short period of time, it is inevitable that there will be some panic all over the country, and Shanghai is no exception,” Dr. Zhang Wenhong, a prominent infectious disease expert in Shanghai, said on social media, per The New York Times.

What’s next: Chinese health officials are still working to get the surge under control, according to CNN. Some administration officials have been dismissed for letting the outbreaks occur in their cities.