Beijing on Alert After Identifying First Covid-19 Patient Linked to Outbreak in Neighboring Region
What's new: Beijing has identified a confirmed Covid-19 patient with links to the latest local outbreak in neighboring Hebei province, raising fears of further spread of the pathogen in the Chinese capital.
The patient, surnamed Zhou, commuted while potentially infectious between her home in the city of Langfang (廊坊) in Hebei and her workplace in Beijing’s Xicheng district, local health authorities said. Her 95 close contacts in recent weeks are being kept under observation.
During the New Year holiday, Zhou traveled twice to the city of Shijiazhuang, a hot spot in the Hebei outbreak. She returned from Langfang to Beijing after the holiday and initially tested negative for Covid-19 Saturday.
The following day, she was identified by local health authorities due to her travel history to Shijiazhuang and was sent into mandatory quarantine. Her Covid-19 infection was confirmed Sunday night.
Why it matters: Beijing has been on alert because the latest outbreak has occurred in Hebei, which surrounds the Chinese capital. As of Tuesday, Hebei has reported 305 confirmed cases and more than 200 asymptomatic cases. Shijiazhuang has launched a second citywide mass testing of all 11 million of its residents and ordered most to stay home.
Furthermore, Beijing has continued to find new cases in a flare-up in its northeastern district of Shunyi (顺义), which indicates that the virus is still spreading.
Local outbreaks have been seen across China due to imported cases and local transmission of the virus throughout the winter.
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