BEIJING: Beijing vowed to beef up measures to prevent a COVID-19 flare-up in China’s capital and ensure people’s safety as the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games approach. Besides the concerns raised by the latest domestic wave of COVID-19 in neighboring city Tianjin, the arrival of tens of thousands of overseas participants must alert the Chinese capital to the risk of imported infections.
Despite the hype by Western media saying that the Omicron variant and the Olympics could be “on a collision course with China’s zero-COVID strategy,” people from all walks of life reached by the Global Times said a rigorous and temporary approach to ensure the safety of people’s lives is acceptable and laudable.
Beijing must leave no stone unturned in implementing epidemic prevention and control measures to ensure the capital, Olympics and residents are free from the threat of new flare-ups, Cai Qi, the Party chief of Beijing and head of the anti-epidemic command center, said on Wednesday at a special meeting.
Multiple regions including Central China’s Henan, Northwest China’s Shaanxi, South China’s Guangdong Province, and especially Beijing’s neighbor Tianjin, are battling epidemic resurgence. As of Thursday afternoon, Tianjin reported 126 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 asymptomatic carriers of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Tianjin health authorities said.
According to the latest regulation from Beijing municipal government, all people coming or returning to Beijing will be monitored and screened. Any person who is deemed a risk will be quarantined to keep out any potential cases. Those with travel history to medium-risk regions within 14 days should strictly follow epidemic rules and they will be required to quarantine at home and take a nucleic acid test.
Those who usually commute to Beijing from neighboring cities are encouraged to work from home to lower the flow of personnel. To prevent silent transmission within the city, Beijing will also escalate screenings, including testing those working in key industries.
The anti-epidemic command center suggested residents stay put during the upcoming Spring Festival holidays to reduce travel flows.
Experts said that as the efficacy of vaccines against Omicron variant is not ideal, grassroots prevention and management for arrivals to Beijing are the two most important ways to avoid community transmission. -The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item