China says the first detected case of the Omicron variant in Beijing, the country’s capital, originated in a letter sent from Canada in early January.
This is what was presented in a daily article Global Times, a spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party, citing health authorities in Beijing.
“The patient who tested positive for the Omicron variant on Saturday received an international courier on January 11 that was sent from Canada on January 7, and that was flown to Beijing via the US and Hong Kong of China,” we say.
Traces of Omicron were found on the outer surface of the envelope, on the inner walls as well as on the letter in question, Is it written in the article in question, published in the middle of Monday.
Health authorities tested all letters from the same batch, and reported finding traces of the virus in five of them. Eight people who handled the letter in question were tested, and it turned out to be negative.
Authorities followed up on 69 people who had been in close contact with the woman in question in the past two weeks, as well as more than 16,000 people in the area. All results were negative.
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According to the BBC, the issue would continue to worry authorities in Beijing, who would have asked residents to stop bringing packages from outside the country.
Called to comment on confirmations Global TimesHealth Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced that he could not comment, at this point, on the scientific validity of the claim.
This is not the first case of Omicron making its way to China.
Cases have already been reported in the cities of Shanghai, Zhuhai and Zhongshan in Guangdong Province, as well as Tianjin and Anyang in Henan Province.
The recent outbreak of Delta and Omicron variants is causing concern in the country, which is set to host the Olympics in less than three weeks. In fact, public health has recognized a “peak” it has never reached since March 2020.
China is practicing the “COVID-Zero” approach, meaning that it is doing everything it can to stop the spread of the virus, even if it means imposing strict restrictions, screening entire cities and blocking traffic between affected regions.
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