Beijing authorities conduct mass Covid testing as cases rise ahead of Olympics | China

Beijing’s local government on Sunday ordered more Covid-19 tests as the Chinese capital continued to report new cases, less than two weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics.

Nine locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms were found in Beijing on January 22, up from 10 a day earlier, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday, adding that six of the nine cases were in Fengtai district. from the city.

Fengtai will hold nucleic acid testing for all residents on Sunday, district health officials said.

City officials have also asked residents to proactively take nucleic acid tests if they are found with Covid-related symptoms within 14 days of receiving overseas deliveries.

China had urged people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from overseas, after authorities suggested the first case of the Omicron variant found in Beijing may have arrived via a packages from Canada.

Cities across China have in recent weeks imposed tougher measures to control new Covid outbreaks, a task that has taken on added urgency as Beijing prepares to host the Winter Olympics early next month.

Many cities have advised residents to stay put or have required travelers to report their whereabouts several days before arrival.

Mainland China reported 56 new Covid cases on January 22, up from 63 cases a day earlier, according to the country’s national health authority.

The NHC said 19 of the new cases were transmitted locally, up from 23 a day earlier, and the rest imported.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 34 from 43 a day earlier. There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636. As of January 22, mainland China had confirmed 105,603 cases.

South Korea, meanwhile, posted its second-highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Sunday, despite prolonged Covid restrictions and a high vaccination rate, raising fears of further spread during the upcoming New Year holidays. lunar.

The country recorded 7,630 new cases on Saturday, above the 7,009 cases reported a day earlier and near the mid-December record of 7,848.

India reported more than 300,000 new Covid cases for the fourth day in a row, although the number of cases in the past 24 hours was slightly lower than the previous day. There were 333,533 new infections and 525 deaths reported on Sunday.

As of Saturday, India had reported 337,704 new cases and 488 deaths.

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