China reports second case of Omicron variant


China on Tuesday identified the second imported case of the heavily mutated Covid-19 variant from southern city Guangzhou, after the first infection was reported in port city Tianjin on Monday.

According to Guangzhou authorities, a 67-year-old man entered China on November 27 and repeatedly tested negative for Covid-19 during his 14 days in quarantine. He flew from Shanghai to Guangzhou on flight CA1837 on December 11, the South China Morning Post reported.

He was sent to his home in Yuexiu district for home quarantine on December 12, and tested positive for the Omicron strain on December 13.

Municipal authorities said that the patient is being treated at Guangzhou Number 8 People’s Hospital and is in a stable condition.

They said he was found positive in repeated tests after December 13 and genome sequencing confirmed the man was infected with the Omicron variant.

Guangzhou has sealed off a building in Tianshengcun, a residential compound in Yuexiu district where the man lives. All the residents in the building were sent to a quarantine facility for observation, the report said.

Residents from three nearby buildings in the same compound are banned from leaving the neighbourhood and have to have two tests within three days.

And residents from several streets in the neighbourhood are required to do two swab tests. Nearby entrances to the subway station are closed and taxis and app-based transport are banned from entering the area.

China reported its first case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in Tianjin on Monday. The patient was a returnee from Europe, Gu Qing, director of the city’s health commission told the state broadcaster CCTV, on Tuesday. He did not specify which country the man had come from.

The patient was classified as an asymptomatic carrier on arrival in the northern city on December 9 and a full sequence test later revealed the presence of the new variant, CCTV reported.

The patient was undergoing the mandatory quarantine required of overseas arrivals when he was diagnosed and is being treated in hospital.



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