New Covid Outbreaks in China Linked to Tour Group of Seniors from Shanghai

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Virus that has triggered new outbreaks of Covid-19 linked to a tour group of seniors from Shanghai, that has affected several regions of China, likely stemmed from overseas, Chinese health experts said as more than 20 positive cases linked to the contacts of the group have been reported so far, Global Times reported.

The group, which crisscrossed provincial regions in China’s north and northwest, likely came into contact with the virus which may have arrived through port cities in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, although where exactly it came from and how it came into China is unknown, health experts said.

The experts noted that the prevalent Covid-19 variants such as Delta now circulating globally could survive longer on products in cold weather, which may have triggered community transmission.

Beijing on Tuesday reported a locally transmitted Covid-19 case, who returned to the capital from Northwest China’s Gansu Province, another case linked to the tour group that had spread the virus to seven provincial regions and cities as of Tuesday, including port cities in Inner Mongolia and capital of Shaanxi Province.

The new case broke Beijing’s record of no community transmitted cases for more than 70 days.

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The patient was a close contact of a confirmed case from Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, surnamed Ai, who in turn was a confirmed contact of the Shanghai tour group. The Beijing case was on the same train as Ai, the report said.

A couple from Shanghai, who were tested in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi on Saturday, were the first to test positive in this latest outbreak. The couple was part of the tour group along with five other seniors, and had travelled in Gansu Province, Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi. Later, the other five tourists also tested positive in Xi’an.

Two streets in Beijing’s Fengtai district are under closed management, and people from outside are advised not to visit the two streets.

The Fengtai district government said at a press conference Tuesday that the district will increase the frequency of disinfection in public venues, limit the number of visitors in indoor venues and restaurant opening times.

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