Covid-19 in China: Shenzhen, Beijing and Tianjin in Omicron containment race ahead of Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics | South China Morning Post
Covid-19 in China: Shenzhen, Beijing and Tianjin in Omicron containment race ahead of Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics. The Chinese capital has recorded its first Omicron case, while the neighbouring city has recorded more positives
The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen reported its first locally transmitted case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on Sunday, joining Tianjin and Beijing in battling to bring the strain under control before the Lunar New Year holiday and Winter Olympics. Shenzhen reported two new community cases on Sunday, bringing the city’s total to 17 in this outbreak. The city reported no cases for Saturday.State media reported that a woman from Longgang district handling frozen overseas chemical reagents was confirmed with the Omicron variant. The other case is a Delta infection.
Across China, 119 cases were reported as of midnight Saturday, of which 65 were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. Among these cases, 33 were in Tianjin, 29 in Henan province, one in Beijing, one in Guangdong and one in Shaanxi’s provincial capital Xian.
On Saturday, Beijing reported its first case of Omicron, a woman from Haidian district who reported having a sore throat and fever in the past few days.The woman had not left the city in the previous two weeks and had not been in contact with confirmed cases. Two people living with her tested negative but some environmental samples in her home were positive.
The local health authorities have tracked her movements over the past two weeks and alerted close contacts. People who have visited the same public places as her were told to get tested. Covid outbreaks loom over world’s biggest human migration as China braces for Lunar New Year rush
Chen also said she has given up any hope of travelling home to the eastern province of Anhui, some 1,000km (600 miles) from the capital, for the holidays, especially with the Winter Olympics opening in a few weeks.
A series of preventive measures have been put in place for the Games, which will be held inside an isolation bubble. On Saturday, Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the Beijing municipal government, said that all departments had to ensure the safety of the capital and the Olympics.Meanwhile, Vice-Premier Liu He warned of growing uncertainty surrounding the capital’s pandemic controls during the holidays and Winter Games, and called on officials to strengthen their contingency plans.Tianjin, a major port city to the east of the capital, is still battling to contain its outbreak but the NHC said the risk of it spreading to other cities was falling. Tianjin’s most recent cases have been detected in locked down parts of the city.
On Saturday, Shenzhen reported zero new local cases, raising hopes that the outbreak will be over by Lunar New Year on February 1. But the newly reported cases on Sunday are expected to cast shadow over those holiday plans.The nearby cities of Zhuhai and Zhongshan are continuing mass screening and have imposed travel restrictions since Omicron was detected in both cities last month. The authorities in Macau have also tightened their border controls in response.The National Development and Reform Commission said on Sunday that local governments should refrain from “simplified” and “one-size-fits-all” Covid-control measures during the upcoming holiday to minimise the impact on people’s lives.The state planner urged governments to allow people in low-risk areas to make short trips and encourage measures to boost consumer spending.