The average age of Omicron patients is 40.6 years old during the latest outbreak in Shanghai

A medical worker takes a swab sample from a student for nucleic acid testing at a university in Qingpu district of east China’s Shanghai, March 14, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

The majority of those infected amid this round of Omicron outbreaks in Shanghai are healthy young and middle-aged people, a Shanghai government official said on Tuesday. There was a wide disparity in the proportion of confirmed cases and asymptomatic infections, which is related to the characteristics of Omicron, human immunity and mass vaccination, authorities noted.

Shanghai reported 31 new confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Monday and 865 asymptomatic local carriers, authorities said on Tuesday.

The average age of cases infected during this series of outbreaks in Shanghai is 40.6 years old, and 84.5 percent of them are under 60 years old. “The proportion of asymptomatic patients is proportionally higher,” Fu Chen, director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at Tuesday’s press conference.

The Omicron variant strain is the main epidemic strain in China, which is characterized by strong hidden characteristics, rapid transmission and short incubation period, Fu said, noting that the proportion of hospitalized infected cases that are mild and asymptomatic in China exceeds 95%.

The majority of people infected during this epidemic in the city have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the proportion of asymptomatic cases will increase as people’s immunity is strengthened, Fu said. More than 55 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Shanghai, with more than 22 million people receiving the full vaccination process and more than 11 million receiving boosters.

Recent mass screening in communities has found more COVID-19 positive cases, including asymptomatic infected people in the incubation period and at an early stage, Fu noted.

Notably, a total of 326 local COVID19 cases, including 186 asymptomatic cases, were discharged from Shanghai hospital on Monday, a new record following the country’s revised discharge criteria, authorities said on Tuesday.

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