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Four Chinese Provinces Report Cases Tied to Clusters in Beijing

Flare-ups persist ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in two weeks. Officials in four provinces have found infections linked to clusters in the capital, it was revealed on Monday


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People line up for a nucleic acid test outside a testing site at a residential compound in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

 

The Chinese capital reported on Monday new local Covid-19 cases for the seventh consecutive day as flare-ups persisted ahead of the Winter Olympics Games in February, while four provinces found infections linked to clusters in Beijing.

The Beijing municipality reported six new domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms for Sunday, after reporting nine a day earlier, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Monday.

The city has reported a total of 36 local symptomatic cases since January 15, according to NHC statements.

Beijing has quickly stepped up measures to block further spreading of the virus, with the Winter Olympics due to start on February 4, and China already in the Lunar New Year holiday travel season.

Outside of Beijing, the provinces of Shandong, Shanxi, Liaoning and Hebei have already found a total of eight infections linked to the capital.

Fengtai district in Beijing on Sunday launched blanket testing of around two million residents, while some communities in other districts have started targeted testing in key groups.

 

‘Avoid going out’

People who bought over-the-counter treatments for fever, cough, infections or dry and sore throat should do a Covid-19 test within three days upon the purchase, and should avoid going out before the test result is known, a statement published by the Beijing Municipal Health Commission said on Sunday.

Any lack of testing will be reflected in the individuals’ digital health code, which “may affect travel and daily life,” the statement said.

The financial hub Shanghai detected on Monday one local case with confirmed symptoms. The individual worked at the cargo section of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

Cargo and passenger flights at the airport have not been affected, an executive at Shanghai Airport Group told a news briefing on Monday.

Travellers who arrive in Shanghai from overseas need to complete a seven-day “health monitoring” period following two weeks of quarantine at centralised facilities.

From Tuesday, those who have to complete the health monitoring at hotels are largely not allowed to leave their rooms, and those who have to go out for special conditions such as seeking medical services will need to ride in designated vehicles, Shanghai government said in a statement.

 

Toyota-FAW resume operations

In the northern city of Tianjin, where an outbreak of the Covid-19 Omicron variant has been brought under control, Toyota’s joint venture complex with China’s FAW Group resumed operation on Saturday. It had been shut from January 10 for 11 days, a Toyota spokesperson said on Monday.

Nationwide, mainland China reported 18 new locally transmitted confirmed cases for Sunday, down from 19 a day earlier. It also reported five new domestic asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases.

There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636.

As of January 23, mainland China had reported 105,660 cases with confirmed symptoms, including both local ones and those arriving from abroad.

 

• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

 

ALSO SEE:

China’s Zero Covid Policy to Unsettle Markets This Year: Eurasia

 

China Study Warns Of Huge Covid Outbreak If It Opens Up

 

Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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