Beijing faces growing Covid-19 outbreak Before the 2022 Winter Olympics

  • China
  • Saturday, 22 Jan 2022

Shoppers with permits walk to a supermarket in Xi'an in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province. The first commercial airline flights in one month took off Saturday (Jan 22, 2022) from Xi'an in western China as the government eased travel curbs imposed after a coronavirus outbreak ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in Beijing. - AP

BEIJING, Jan 22 (Bloomberg): China’s capital reported a growing Covid-19 cluster linked to imported frozen food and international mail, putting greater pressure on authorities to contain the spread two weeks before the start of the Winter Olympic Games.

Beijing reported 12 Covid infections on Friday (Jan 21), bringing the total to nearly two dozen since last Saturday. While the number is negligible compared with the rampant infections seen elsewhere in the world, any tiny flareup is met with aggressive containment efforts in the highly guarded city.

Friday’s numbers include five people that are not yet showing any symptoms.

Two infections were traced back to an earlier patient coming in contact with international mail from Canada that was later found to have been contaminated with the omicron variant.

The remaining 10 infections are close contacts of the initial cluster detected earlier this week and driven by the delta variant at a cold storage facility dealing with imported foods, health officials said at a briefing.

The outbreak comes just before the official start of the Olympics on Feb. 4th.

The city is emerging as the latest virus hotspot in the country after health authorities scrambled to contain omicron’s first domestic spread in Tianjin, a coastal city near Beijing and locked down Xi’an, a western Chinese city of 13 million, in the wake of a delta flareup.

After quashing an initial outbreak in Wuhan at the beginning of 2020, China has blamed infections seeping across its borders for many of the subsequent domestic flareups.

Authorities have argued that some of the infections could have resulted from contact with frozen food imports, though international bodies including the World Health Organisation and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there’s no evidence the virus could be transmitted this way. - Bloomberg

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

China , Beijing , Olympics , Threat , Omicron , Covid-19


Next In Aseanplus News

Exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories up 18.5% y-o-y to RM499.9mil
Indonesia hedges against US’ economic push
A Marcos return in Philippines triggers panic buying of books on brutal martial law
China-trained Myanmar athletes achieve good results at 31st SEA Games
China, Solomon Islands reach eight-point consensus
China plots fresh military exercises in South China Sea
Rosmah fails in final bid to disqualify Gopal Sri Ram from prosecuting
RCEP best example of open, inclusive, rules-based trading system: Hun Sen
Massive haul of dubious meat confiscated in Brunei
Laos looks to unlock potential of regional connectivity

Others Also Read