Omicron variant dominates COVID-19 cases in China in March, with JN.1 becoming main strain: China CDC

Throughout the month of March 2024, the Chinese mainland reported that the new cases of COVID-19 were all caused by the Omicron variant, with the main prevalent strain becoming the JN.1 series variant. This variant encompasses 89 evolutionary branches, with the top three strains being JN.1, JN.1.4, and JN.1.1.

During the same period, 588 new severe cases and 26 deaths were reported across the mainland, with one death attributed to respiratory failure caused by COVID-19 infection and 25 deaths due to underlying health conditions combined with COVID-19 infection.

The daily number of patients seeking treatment at fever clinics fluctuated at around 160,000 throughout March, peaking at 188,000 on March 12 before gradually decreasing to a low of 134,000 on March 30.

From the 10th week (March 4-10) to the 13th week (March 25-31) in 2024, the proportion of flu-like cases among emergency room visits at sentinel hospitals nationwide slightly decreased, with flu-like cases accounting for 5.6 percent, 5.3 percent, 4.9 percent, and 4.9 percent of visits, respectively.

The positivity rate for flu-like cases testing positive for COVID-19 increased from 18.2 percent in the 10th week to 21.1 percent in the 11th week before declining to 15.9 percent in the 13th week.

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