BEIJING – Mainland China reported its first case of a separate omicron Covid on Monday in the city of Tianjin, about two hours by car from the Beijing capital.
The omicron case was found on an overseas traveler, who showed no symptoms but was examined Thursday, according to the Tianjin local health commission. The patient was being treated alone at the hospital, the commission said.
On Monday, the United Kingdom reported the first worldwide confirmed confirmed deaths from a variety of omicrons. The newly identified strains – first reported in South Africa in late November – are highly contagious and highly mutated, and have raised concerns about the effectiveness of existing coronavirus vaccines.
Covid-19 first appeared in China in late 2019. The country controlled the outbreak within months, but by then the virus had become a global epidemic.
Mainland China has only reported Covid-19 case packs for the past 18 months, as Beijing pursues a strict “tolerance” policy that could mean sudden territorial closures or travel restrictions. The latest recurrence of Covid cases is concentrated in Inner Mongolia and the southeastern part of the country.
The continental health commission reported a total of 51 confirmed cases in the area on Monday, with 25 of them said to be overseas travelers, with nothing new.