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World COVID: Beijing reports first local Omicron case

22:42  15 january  2022
22:42  15 january  2022 Source:   aljazeera.com

NZ learning from Aust COVID testing crisis

  NZ learning from Aust COVID testing crisis New Zealand has fast-tracked orders for rapid antigen tests and is encouraging booster take-up as it awaits the inevitable arrival of Omicron in the community.Health authorities revised their RAT order last week, buying another six million rapid tests.

The first locally transmitted Omicron case has been detected in the Chinese capital, Beijing, officials said, weeks before it is due to host the Winter Olympic Games.

People walk past a market as the coronavirus pandemic continues, in Beijing, China [Tingshu Wang/Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera People walk past a market as the coronavirus pandemic continues, in Beijing, China [Tingshu Wang/Reuters]

State television reported on Saturday that the new COVID infection had been identified as the Omicron strain.

Lab testing found “mutations specific to the Omicron variant” in the person, Pang Xinghuo, an official at the city’s disease control authority, told a news briefing.

The announcement comes a day after the southern city of Zhuhai imposed travel restrictions on residents as a mass testing drive uncovered seven infections.

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  New year, new mask: Why you should start wearing N95s Cloth masks won’t cut it against omicron.Masking best practices have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, and confusion still abounds about which mask to wear and in what circumstances. However, medical experts are in agreement: Masks are a crucial component in stopping the spread of all variants of Covid-19, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respirator is still the most effective mask on the market.

Millions of people across the country have been ordered to stay at home in recent weeks, with scores of domestic flights cancelled and factories shut down, as the country attempts to control a spate of small coronavirus outbreaks, including several from the Omicron variant, ahead of the Olympics, due to start on February 4.

One locally transmitted Omicron case was discovered in the capital’s Haidian district, home to many tech company headquarters, city official Pang said at a news conference, a rare breach of Beijing’s tightly-guarded COVID-19 defences.

Authorities are testing the other occupants of the patient’s residential compound and office building, and have restricted access to 17 locations linked to the infected person, Pang said.

with Omicron, fewer resuscitation patients, and less stays at

 with Omicron, fewer resuscitation patients, and less stays at Hospital if it is much more contagious than the delta variant, Omicron causes less symptoms of respiratory distress and therefore sends fewer patients in services critical care. © AFP.com/sebastien Bozon A patient with COVID-19 is elongated at the Hospital Pasteur in Colmar, in eastern France, April 22, 2021 the first estimates of OMICRON and intensive care passages seem to be confirmed with time.

Beijing has long barred people from parts of the country that have reported cases, while requiring all arrivals to provide recent COVID-19 test reports.

Residents have also been urged in recent weeks not to leave the city for the upcoming spring festival holiday.

On Friday, the coastal city of Zhuhai, which borders the gambling hub Macau, said Omicron had been detected in one mildly ill and six asymptomatic patients.

Zhuhai officials have asked residents to avoid leaving the city “unless necessary”, with those who leave required to show negative COVID test results within the previous 24 hours.

The city launched mass testing for its population of 2.4 million people on Friday after a COVID case was detected in neighbouring Zhongshan earlier in the week.

Businesses including beauty salons, card rooms, gyms and cinemas were ordered to close on Thursday, with officials announcing the suspension of public bus routes in parts of the city.

China-Omicron continues to propagate, new cases in Tianjin

 China-Omicron continues to propagate, new cases in Tianjin Health-Coronavirus / China: China-Omicron continues to spread, new cases in Tianjin Pekin, January 13 (Reuters) - Tianjin City, Where is One of the largest ports in China, mentioned Thursday of an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 and announced new measures to try to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which continues to spread in the country.

China has kept COVID-19 cases relatively low throughout the pandemic with its zero-tolerance strategy of immediately ordering mass testing and strict lockdowns when infections are detected.

Harsher lockdowns have been imposed on China’s smaller cities where millions of people have been ordered to stay home and get tested, while economic hubs such as Shanghai and Beijing have locked down and tested only specific neighbourhoods in more targeted efforts.

But the fast-spreading Omicron variant has tested that strategy in recent weeks, appearing in the port city of Tianjin close to Beijing before spreading to the central city of Anyang.

National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng told reporters on Saturday that the country faced a “twofold challenge” from the Delta and Omicron strains of the virus.

He warned that regions that had not yet seen outbreaks “must not relax” their prevention measures and “strengthen risk auditing”.

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