Beijing shields itself before Olympics over omicron in nearby regions
By Alvaro Alfaro
Beijing, Jan 14 (EFE).- Beijing authorities announced new prevention measures Friday against Covid-19 in the face of “risks” posed by the omicron variant, detected in regions near the capital, such as the suspension of ticket sales from cities where positive cases have been recorded.
Likewise, those who have passed through an area classified as “medium or high risk” in the last 14 days must undergo nucleic acid tests and home quarantine, Chinese news site Guangming reported Friday.
The agencies in charge of managing the pandemic in the capital urged those responsible “not to relax” and to “strengthen the work” to prevent “hidden spread,” for which nucleic acid tests will be carried out between “sectors key code.”
They also insisted on the widespread use of the capital’s health QR code, displayed at the entrance of establishments to attest that one has not passed through risk areas.
Authorities also require all city departments to maintain “a state of emergency” to “guarantee the security” of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which will begin on Feb. 4.
Beijing will then become the first city to have hosted the Summer and Winter Games, which will be held under strict preventive measures: athletes and workers from abroad will remain in an isolated bubble throughout their stay in the Chinese capital
Given the incoming Lunar New Year, a celebration in which the Chinese usually return to their places of origin, the Beijing government asked residents to spend the holidays in the city and avoid moving.
Health authorities urged employees who work in Beijing but reside outside the capital to work from home as much as possible.
One of the places where numerous people who travel to Beijing every day and return home at night reside is Tianjin, connected by a high-speed train with the capital and located just 117 kilometers away.
There are 230 active Covid-19 cases out of 15 million inhabitants in the city as a result of an outbreak detected last week that included positives for the omicron variant.
Tianjin, which has already carried out several rounds of massive tests on the population, has decreed a partial confinement that includes the prohibition of leaving the city for those who do not have a negative PCR.
The outbreak detected in Tianjin spread to the central province of Henan, where there are 690 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among its population of 99 million inhabitants and which has implemented a total or partial confinement in cities such as Zhengzhou and Anyang.
The northeastern port city of Dalian, 460 kilometers from the capital, reported Thursday the detection of an omicron case among its population of 7 million inhabitants.
Dalian authorities said the situation in the city is “controllable.” EFE