China Says Omicron Might Have Unfold Through Packaging

A woman wearing a mask to protect from the coronavirus walks past parcels gathered near delivery tricycles in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Chinese state media say parcels mailed from overseas may have spread the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Beijing and elsewhere, despite doubts among overseas health experts that the virus can be transmitted via packaging.

A lady sporting a masks to guard from the coronavirus walks previous parcels gathered close to supply tricycles in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Chinese language state media say parcels mailed from abroad could have unfold the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Beijing and elsewhere, regardless of doubts amongst abroad well being consultants that the virus may be transmitted by way of packaging.

AP Photograph/Ng Han Guan

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese language state media say parcels mailed from abroad could have unfold the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Beijing and elsewhere, regardless of doubts amongst abroad well being consultants that the virus may be transmitted by way of packaging.

The State Publish Bureau stated it has ordered stronger measures to ventilate and disinfect websites the place objects mailed from abroad are dealt with. Postal employees should put on protecting gear, obtain booster photographs and endure common testing, it stated on its web site. Worldwide packages have to be remoted, cleaned and held for a ready interval to make sure they’re free from the virus, it stated.

International well being consultants say the virus primarily spreads via respiratory droplets when contaminated folks breathe, communicate, cough and sneeze.

The World Well being Group says coronaviruses “want a dwell animal or human host to multiply and survive and can’t multiply on the floor of meals packages.”

Nevertheless, China has repeatedly emphasised what it calls the hazard of infections from packaging, regardless of solely hint quantities of the virus being discovered on such objects, and has boosted testing of frozen meals and different objects shipped from abroad.

The Communist Social gathering newspaper International Instances cited the Beijing Heart for Illness Management and virologists as linking latest infections to packages from overseas. It stated Tuesday that investigators discovered folks newly contaminated had picked up packages mailed from Canada and the U.S.

China has locked down elements of Beijing’s Haidian district following the detection of 4 instances, simply weeks earlier than the capital is to host the Winter Olympic Video games. One other individual within the southern know-how hub of Shenzhen who examined constructive for omicron dealt with packages despatched from North America, the newspaper stated.

An extra case was reported within the metropolis’s Chaoyang district, and an workplace constructing in Shunyi, the place the capital’s most important worldwide airport is situated, was positioned below lockdown with all inside required to endure testing after a suspected case was reported.

Native faculties in Beijing have largely been moved on-line within the two weeks earlier than the beginning of the Lunar New 12 months vacation on Jan. 31.

China stays on excessive alert for brand new outbreaks forward of the Olympics. Round 20 million persons are below lockdown and mass testing has been ordered in total cities the place instances have been found.

Beijing Video games organizers introduced Monday that solely “chosen” spectators can be permitted on the occasions, which formally open Feb. 4. Beijing had already introduced that no followers from outdoors the nation can be permitted and has not supplied tickets to most people.

China has largely prevented main virus outbreaks with lockdowns, mass testing and journey restrictions, though it continues to combat surges in a number of cities, together with the port of Tianjin, about an hour from Beijing.

One metropolis that has endured weeks of lockdown below China’s “zero-COVID” coverage seems to have acquired some aid. Falling numbers of instances in Xi’an, a metropolis of 13 million famed as the house of the Terracotta Warrior statue military, have prompted authorities to steadily permit folks to go away their properties and return to work.

Only one extra case was reported within the metropolis amongst China’s 127 new domestically transmitted instances introduced Tuesday.

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