With less than a month until the Winter Olympics, the finding of a possible Omicron cluster near Beijing, some 130 kilometers away from Tianjin, would have set out alarm bells in the capital.
After a cluster of 20 people and children tested positive for Covid-19, including at least two with the highly transmissible Omicron strain, Tianjin, a 14-million-strong port city near China’s capital Beijing, began mass testing on Sunday. According to official media, containing the Omicron version in Tianjin, a “gateway” city to Beijing, will be the “first major” war against the variety on the mainland. With less than a month until the Winter Olympics, the finding of a possible Omicron cluster near Beijing, some 130 kilometers away from Tianjin, would have set out alarm bells in the capital. According to them, the source of the cluster epidemic is unknown, and there is a risk of spillover. According to Tianjin municipal authorities, the two cases had nothing to do with the imported Omicron case that was identified in the city last December. “Of the 20 people who have been infected, 15 are minors aged 8 to 13.” According to the newspaper Global, the incidents are concentrated in Tianjin’s Jinnan and Nankai neighbourhoods.
Students and their families associated with a daycare centre and a primary school comprise the majority of those infected. “Because of the enormous number of commuters working and residing in the two cities, the Tianjin outbreak poses hazards to Beijing and the next Winter Olympics,” the newspaper stated, quoting an unnamed immunologist. Residents in Tianjin have been encouraged to stay at home so that they can participate in the mandated nucleic acid testing.
In France, a hundred thousand people marched against vaccine regulations.
According to French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal, an obligatory order would not be the most effective method to urge those who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 to receive the vaccine, and that efforts to toughen health pass criteria were already yielding results. In France, proof of vaccination or a negative test is already required to enter restaurants and pubs, as well as to travel interregional trains. However, due to an increase in Omicron infections, the government is considering laws that would make the test obsolete. On Saturday, more than 100,000 people protested across France, claiming that the government is going to severely restrict the rights of unvaccinated individuals, only days after French President Emmanuel Macron threatened to “piss off” anyone who refuses to take the vaccination. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people marched in Brussels, Belgium, on Sunday to protest anti-coronavirus laws, as European countries consider harsher controls in the wake of the Omicron wave.
A day before the official swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Sigrid Kaag, who is set to become the Netherlands’ first female finance minister, announced that she had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The death toll in one Australian state has reached an all-time high
On Saturday, New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, had the highest number of daily deaths.The coronavirus claimed the lives of 16 people in Sydney, which is home to a third of Australia’s 25 million inhabitants.
A UK minister supports a shorter period of seclusion
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that reducing the self-isolation time for persons who test positive from seven to five days would help British employers who have been hit hard by absences.
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