Tibet, Hainan move to contain virus

No place is safe: People queueing to undergo nucleic acid tests for Covid-19 in Lhasa. — AFP

LHASA: Seven people tested positive in Ngari prefecture and Shigatse city in the Tibet autonomous region, according to statements by local health authorities.

Among the seven newly discovered infections on Tuesday, five are from Shigatse – two confirmed and three asymptomatic. The other two are from Ngari’s Burang county, both asymptomatic.

According to a news conference in Lhasa, the 18 people who tested positive on Sunday in the city have been identified as being infected with the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Yan Zhouzhong, the deputy director of Lhasa’s health commission, said the spread of the virus was the result of gatherings, and that the current outbreak displayed three characteristics.

“First, the strain in question is Omicron subvariant BA.2.76, and second, the epidemiological survey and investigation show that the outbreak has been imported,” said Yan, who added that third, the outbreak was the result of a family gathering.

“Now, all 18 patients have been hospitalised. They are in stable condition, without obvious discomfort, and in a good psychological condition,” said Zhou.

Lhasa’s Potala Palace, a World Heritage Site, was closed to visitors on Tuesday to prevent transmission, according to a statement on its official website.

As of Tuesday evening, Tibet had four confirmed cases and 25 asymptomatic infections, breaking its 920-day infection-free streak.

Separately in Hainan province, a charter flight left Sanya Phoenix International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, taking 125 tourists stranded by the island’s latest outbreak back home to Xi’an in Shaanxi province, according to local authorities. — China Daily/ANN

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Tibet , Hainan , Omicron , covid-19


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