Cities across China are imposing strict restrictions to try to control new outbreaks of COVID-19, with Tianjin now battling the highly contagious Omicron variant, which has already spread to at least two other provinces. has been found.
Tianjin officials said in a Tuesday press briefing that 49 cases had been confirmed during the latest outbreak. The city of 14 million people, some 100 km (62 miles) from Beijing, is now implementing tough new controls to stop the spread of the coronavirus, particularly in neighboring Beijing.
The outbreak in the city has been linked to cases in the city of Anyang in the central Chinese province of Henan, where there have been 84 confirmed infections since Saturday.
Residents leaving Tianjin will be forced to submit negative COVID-19 tests, with restrictions enforced by 279 checkpoints around the city, said Liu Daogang, deputy director of Tianjin’s transport department.
The country’s Omicron boom comes weeks before the Lunar New Year, a peak travel period for millions, and cities across China are advising people to stay put, especially as Beijing prepares for the Winter Olympics early next month. Prepares to host.
Government medical adviser Zhang Boli told state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday that Omicron “cannot be taken lightly” even if symptoms are not as severe as in previous variants.
China has ordered the cancellation of more than two dozen scheduled flights from the US after several passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.
“Facing Omicron directly, we found that the transmission speed was actually quite fast,” Zhang Ying, an official at the Tianjin Center for Disease Control, said in an interview broadcast on state television late Monday.
“Whether it is in terms of tracing the origin of viruses or epidemiological investigations, the Omicron version has brought along unprecedentedly enormous challenges and difficulties,” she said.
Tianjin confirmed its first two locally transmitted cases of Omicron over the weekend, and Zhang said 20 infected people had been discovered in the first 24 hours.
The city has imposed travel restrictions and launched a massive testing program to help prevent the variant from spreading.
China reported 192 new confirmed nationwide coronavirus cases for January 10, up from 157 a day earlier. Of the total, 110 aired locally, up from 97 the day before.
According to a statement by the National Health Commission, 87 cases were reported in the highly populated Henan province.
The provincial capital of Zhengzhou has banned food in beauty salons, restaurants, and banned taxis and ride-hailing platforms from operating, local officials said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Henan’s Anyang confirmed on Monday that its two new cases were part of the same Omicron transmission chain in Tianjin. It is not clear how many other cases in Henan are related to Omicron.
A separate omicron infection was reported on Monday in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province, about 120 km (75 miles) from Shanghai on China’s east coast. The patient had traveled from Australia to Shanghai on January 5 before being transferred to Wuxi.
With the Lunar New Year approaching, other regions are also leaving no chance.
Authorities in the southeastern city of Shenzhen on Tuesday closed a subway station and urged residents not to buy goods from high-risk countries.
The southeastern island province of Hainan, a popular tourist destination, also announced that visitors must submit a negative COVID-19 test before entering.
China also reported 50 new asymptomatic cases on Monday, which it classifies separately from confirmed cases, up from 42.
There were no new deaths, taking the death toll to 4,636. As of January 10, there were 103,968 confirmed cases in mainland China.
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