The discovery of Omicron puts pressure on the Chinese manufacturing center
According to the health department, the Omicron coronavirus variant appeared in China for the first time, putting pressure on officials already responding to an outbreak in one of China’s most important manufacturing centers.
According to official and official media Omron case It was “imported” by arriving in Tianjin, a port city in the southeast of Beijing, where travelers were quarantined before being allowed to continue to the Chinese capital.
Tianjin Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters diagnosed Genome sequencing Analysis indicated that it is a B.1.1.529 strain, called an Omicron variant. The nationalist Communist tabloid “Global Times” stated that the case was a Polish national who flew from Warsaw to Tianjin.
“Infected persons in Tianjin are currently being treated in isolation in designated hospitals,” the city’s local government said on Tuesday. “This is the first time an Omicron variant case has been found in mainland China.”
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs often uses Tianjin as an alternative place to meet with China. Foreign dignitaries Instead of risking them to bring the virus to Beijing.
President Xi Jinping’s government is pursuing a “Zero Covid” policy in the most populous country in the world, partly because of concerns Relatively low efficacy The number of homemade vaccines in China and the number of deaths that could be caused if Covid-19 spread freely among the country’s 1.4 billion people.
Jin Dongyan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said that the emergence of light cases in Europe and the United States will stimulate the government’s efforts to distribute strengthened needles.
Health officials have distributed 2.5 billion doses of China-made Coxing and Sinopharm vaccines. “Even if we are not sure about the effectiveness of the vaccine for Omicron, we must intensify injections, especially for high-risk groups,” Jin said.
When Omicron was discovered in Tianjin, thousands of people in China were newly blocked due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Authorities are eager to control dozens of cases in the Yangtze River Delta, an important manufacturing center.
Cities such as Hangzhou, Shaoxing and Ningbo – all located in Zhejiang province south of Shanghai?? – reported nearly 200 new cases this week, prompting authorities to impose restrictions on movement until March 2022.
According to official media reports, more than 100 people have been infected in Shangyu, Shaoxing alone, all of which can be traced back to the funeral.
Many manufacturers have suspended production in the region.Ningbo is Chinese Largest container port, Triggering the specter of further bottlenecks in the global supply chain.
Xia Yanhong, who runs a textile factory in Shaoxing, said that one of her factories was forced to close and the other three were under strict operational control.
“We have at least 120 million yuan (US$19 million) worth of products waiting to be shipped,” said Xia, whose customers are mainly Europeans. “If it cannot be shipped as soon as possible, it will have a great impact on us.”
She added that truck drivers who used to charge 5,000 yuan to transport containers to nearby ports now charge as much as 14,000 yuan.
Dozens of Shanghai and Shenzhen listed companies have confirmed similar interruptions. “Except for epidemic prevention and people’s livelihood protection, all other work will be suspended,” Zhejiang Jingsheng Electromechanical Co., Ltd. wrote in a document submitted to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. This is more than a dozen such notices sent to the exchange on Monday. one.
The National Health Commission of China announced on Tuesday that there were 51 new locally transmitted cases across the country, including 44 in Zhejiang and 38 in Shaoxing. Shaoxing has a population of 5 million.
In Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the rise of Omicron in China will not change Plans to reopen the city boundaries With the mainland.
Hong Kong already operates the world The strictest quarantine system, The arrivals were forced to spend up to three weeks in the hotel. For passengers from countries/regions where Omicron is spreading rapidly, the region needs to be quarantined for the first week in special government facilities near the airport.
Supplementary report by Shanghai Wang Xueqiao