NW Week

Thursday, February 22, 2024

China reports the first Omicron case and an outbreak of the Delta variant

China reports the first Omicron case

Key Takeaways:

  • According to health officials, the first case of Omicron Covid-19 variant infection on the mainland was discovered on Monday night in the northern city of Tianjin.
  • According to Chinese official media, the infection was discovered in a traveler who arrived in the city from abroad on December 9, and the patient is currently being treated in isolation in a city hospital.

Separately, a substrain of the Covid-19 Delta variant has triggered a new cluster of cases in Zhejiang, eastern China’s industrial powerhouse province, causing many of the 190 cases in a week, locking down over 500,000 residents and shutting down factories.

Several infections diagnosed until Monday afternoon were of the Delta strain sub-lineage AY.4, prompting widespread travel restrictions in the province, mass nucleic acid tests, and more than 52,000 people being sent to centralized isolation.

According to official figures released on Monday, Zhejiang reported 192 locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms between December 6 and 13, making it the province’s first domestic cluster outbreak of the year.

first Omicron case in China; Image from The Guardian

“Whole-genome sequencing and analysis revealed that the cases in three cities Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Shaoxing were caused by the Delta strain sub-lineage AY.4″ According to an official with the Zhejiang provincial center for disease control and prevention, it is more transmissible and has a higher viral load than the original novel coronavirus,” official news agency Xinhua reported.

“Local authorities have assessed restrictions on public gatherings and out-of-province travel to prevent the virus from spreading further,” according to the report.

“The province has quarantined a total of 540,430 people, of which 52,824 were in centralized isolation, 21,835 were under home health observation, and 465,771 were under routine health monitoring,” according to a state media report.

According to Reuters, more than a dozen Chinese-listed companies said they had suspended production in coronavirus-affected areas of China’s eastern Zhejiang province due to the local government’s tightened Covid-19 curbs, causing their share prices to plummet.

On December 12, China reported 80 new locally transmitted cases with symptoms on the mainland, with 74 identified in Zhejiang. As a result, China has reported 99,681 Covid-19 cases and 4,636 deaths due to the infection.

Source: Hindustantimes

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