Did Omicron arrive in China’s capital Beijing by mail from Canada?

17/1/2022 12:01:00 PM

Did Omicron arrive in China’s capital Beijing by mail from Canada?

Did Omicron arrive in China’s capital Beijing by mail from Canada?

Omicron could have entered the Chinese capital Beijing via contaminated mail from Canada, the city’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Monday. Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing CDC, said the city’s first Covid-19 patient to be diagnosed with the Omicron variant had received a letter mailed from Canada on Jan 7. “We do not rule out...

Beijing residents have been warned to take care opening their mail after health authorities said they found the Covid-19 Omicron variant on a letter from Canada.BEIJING: The Chinese capital Beijing on Saturday (Jan 15) reported its first locally transmitted infection of the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, according to state media, just weeks ahead of its staging of the Olympic Winter Games.Queues for getting a Covid-19 test left people waiting in line for hours in frigid temperatures.Copy to clipboard https://str.

Reuters Omicron could have entered the Chinese capital Beijing via contaminated mail from Canada, the city’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Monday.Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing CDC, said the city’s first Covid-19 patient to be diagnosed with the Omicron variant had received a letter mailed from Canada on Jan 7.The case was discovered in the capital's Haidian district, home to many tech company headquarters, Pang Xinghuo, an official at the city's disease control authority, told a news briefing.“We do not rule out the possibility that the person was infected through contacting an object from overseas,” she said.But the highly transmissible Omicron variant has been detected in at least five provinces and municipalities, prompting cities to impose curbs to stop its spread and threatening to further undercut slowing economic growth.Chinese authorities have repeatedly said they are finding the coronavirus on contaminated imports, usually frozen goods.Officials have sealed up the infected person's residential compound and workplace, and collected 2,430 samples for testing from people linked to the two locations, a Haidian district official said.Some researchers and health authorities overseas have raised doubts this method of transmission, arguing the virus does not survive long enough on surfaces.The person had not left the city since the start of this year.

This view is shared by Canada’s public health agency, which has previously said there is no evidence of Covid-19 being transmitted by imported goods or packages.Authorities have also warned that Omicron adds to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission as more people travel across the country and return to China from overseas for the Lunar New Year holiday starting at the end of the month.China has not said how many Omicron cases it has detected in total.In a Q&A section on its website, the Canadian post office cites assurances from the country’s public health agency, and the World Health Organisation that the risk when handling mail, including international mail, is low.“Because of the poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces, there is a low risk of spread from products or packaging shipped over a period of days or weeks,” it said.Related: Another Chinese city detects Omicron case as Tianjin outbreak expands Aside from Beijing, China has reported locally transmitted infections of the Omicron variant in at least four other provinces and municipalities - in the northern city of Tianjin, the central province of Henan, the southern province of Guangdong and the northeastern province of Liaoning.At a news conference on Monday, Pang said health authorities investigated the man’s post as a potential source of infection when they learned that he occasionally received overseas mail.Lama Temple, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in central Beijing, said on Sunday it was closing down for an unspecified period due to Covid-19 epidemic and control measures.Testing found the Omicron variant present on the letter, which had travelled via the US and Hong Kong before arriving on Jan 11, she said.He Qinghua, an official at the National Health Commission (NHC), said in a briefing earlier on Saturday that the Omicron variant was also detected in Shanghai, without specifying the case count."It is too soon to conclude that Omicron will swamp China’s efforts to suppress Covid," said Mr Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics, in a note issued on Friday.

Speaking at the same news conference, Liao Lingzhu, deputy director of the Beijing postal administration, said the express letter had arrived at the capital airport from Toronto on Jan 10.All employees who handled the mail – which was sanitised by an express courier before delivery the next day to the city’s Zhongguancun area – are in quarantine.He said 14 provincial areas in China had found the Omicron variant in infected individuals arriving from overseas, without naming the regions..Eight people who may have been in contact with the letter have tested negative.[embed]https://www.Of the new infections, 104 were locally transmitted, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, compared with 143 a day earlier.youtube." China's state planner on Sunday urged local governments to minimise the impact from Covid-19 restrictions over the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday to help a rebound in consumption, as rising cases of the Omicron variant threaten economic growth." China's state planner on Sunday urged local governments to minimise the impact from Covid-19 restrictions over the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday to help a rebound in consumption, as rising cases of the Omicron variant threaten economic growth.

com/watch?v=pBMkskG2JjM[/embed] However, authorities said they found traces of the virus on a further five pieces of mail among 54 which were sent from the same place to a different address in China.China also reported 25 new asymptomatic cases for Jan 14, down from 42 infections a day earlier.One positive sample was taken from the outside of a package, and four pieces of contaminated paper were found inside mail which had not been opened before they were checked.Genome sequencing of samples from the patient showed the Omicron strain is similar to the one spreading in Singapore and North America in December, but differs from the one now circulating in other parts of China.There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636..[[nid:562626]] Pang said the infected person had not travelled outside Beijing in the 14 days before developing a sore throat on Jan 13, followed by fever a day later.Repeated swab tests from Jan 14 confirmed the presence of Omicron and that the patient was in the early stage of the disease..It said low-risk places in China should meet the reasonable demand for short trips from urban and rural residents, and step up the supply of everyday products over the holiday period.

The CDC said it could find no evidence the patient had been in contact with high-risk groups, such as arrivals from overseas or affected parts of the country, or other positive cases and their close contacts.[[nid:562222]] Local governments are on high alert to potential Covid-19 cases from outside, with many urging residents to stay put for the third straight year during what is usually the busiest travel period of the year.All 69 close contacts of the Beijing case had tested negative, along with 16,000 swab test samples collected from other potential contacts and 811 samples collected from the environment.The authorities also ruled out the possibility the patient may have contracted the virus via cold chain transmission.The Beijing CDC said residents should minimise their purchases of goods from overseas and wear masks and gloves when opening mail from high risk countries."If there’s an outbreak in Beijing, I won’t be able to return home.It recommended letters and packages should be opened outside the home and sanitised." "What if there’s no flights? What if there’s a lockdown in Beijing? These are real possibilities.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.If you don’t like our faces, listen to our fortnightly podcast E-Junkies where we lepak one corner with famous people #.Mainland China reported 119 new confirmed Covid-19 cases for Saturday, including imported infections, down from 165 a day earlier, according to National Health Commission (NHC) data on Sunday.

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No, it didn’t. Transmission by that method is already proven to be virtually impossible by scientific studies. Of course the CCP always needs to blame someone else…

Beijing reports first local Omicron case as China battles COVID-19 clustersBEIJING: The Chinese capital Beijing on Saturday (Jan 15) reported its first locally transmitted infection of the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, according to state media, just weeks ahead of its staging of the Olympic Winter Games. State television reported on Saturday that the new No matter how stringent your rules are virus will always make their way across borders, unless it is an island totally isolated from the rest of the world

Beijing Omicron case prompts temple closures, queues for Covid-19 testsBEIJING - China on Sunday (Jan 16) reported 65 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases for Saturday, including the first Omicron case in Beijing, just weeks from the Feb 4 start of the city’s Winter Olympic Games and the country’s Chinese New Year holiday. That was down from 104 comparable cases a day earlier, as the outbreak in the north-western city of...

Beijing Omicron case prompts temple closures, queues for Covid-19 tests

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