Covid 19: what is happening in China 15 days before the Olympics?
An outbreak linked to the Delta strain has been discovered in the Fengtai district, in the south of Beijing, less than two weeks before the beginning of the Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital. As a preventive measure, the approximately two million residents of the district will be screened this Sunday, said the municipality, which prohibits people at risk to leave Beijing.
“We must do everything possible to stop the spread (of the virus) as soon as possible, taking strict measures,” said an official, Xu Hejian.
Since last weekend, about 40 cases of Covid have been reported in Beijing, the majority are of the Delta strain.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, the authorities have applied a “zero Covid” strategy, with travel restrictions and targeted confinements, to limit the appearance of new cases.
However, sporadic outbreaks have been occurring regularly in recent months and the country is increasing its vigilance in the run-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics (February 4-20).
The Fengtai district is located about 20 km from the site of the Olympic freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.
Fengtai is the district where the Xinfadi market is located, which in 2020 was the epicenter of a previous outbreak related to traces of virus on a cutting board of imported salmon.
China has been particularly strict with the cold chain and fears contamination with Covid-19 via products coming from abroad.
The hypothesis of frozen food being the cause of the Covid-19 outbreak in China has however been refuted by the WHO.
About a thousand kilometers from Beijing, the city of Xi’an (north) will also lift, Tuesday, its confinement, said local authorities.
The metropolis, which had been, at the end of December, the new epicenter of the epidemic in China, had imposed on its 13 million inhabitants the strictest quarantine measures since Wuhan (center), the first city in the world to be placed under lock and key two years ago at the beginning of the epidemic.
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