There are fears in China that a new subvariant of Omicron has been discovered.

The country recorded 13,000 cases of Covid-19 but found a different strain in a patient with mild symptoms.

Health officials in Suzhou, west of Shanghai, said the subvariant came from the BA.1.1 branch of Omicron.

“This means a new variant of Omicron has been discovered locally,” Zhang Jun, deputy director of the Suzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told state press agency Xinhua.

GISAID, the global database for mutations to be recorded, did not match with the new subvariant.

The subvariant has not yet been reported in any other parts of China or globally.

However, another variant has been reported in Dalian city, in northern China, which also does not match with any other variant in the database.

China is still aiming to eliminate the virus and placed the city of Shanghai, a population of 26 million, into lockdown last week to help lower cases.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.