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Published: 12:04, January 20, 2022 | Updated: 12:05, January 20, 2022
Beijing reports five new cases linked to cold storage industry
By Du Juan and Zheng CAixiong
Published:12:04, January 20, 2022 Updated:12:05, January 20, 2022 By Du Juan and Zheng CAixiong

Lockdown in Xi'an could be nearing end as no further infections found

An epidemic prevention worker guides students returning to their hometowns at Xi'an Railway Station in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on Tuesday, when the city registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases. (YUAN JINGZHI / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Beijing reported five new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, municipal health authorities said, with four of them employees of a cold storage company in Fangshan district.

The fifth case, who lives with one of the employees, also works in the cold storage industry, Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference on Wednesday evening.

The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus was detected in samples collected from three of the cases, he said. The five patients have been transferred to designated hospitals for medical treatment.

Since Beijing reported one locally transmitted case involving the Omicron variant on Saturday, infections in the latest outbreaks have been recorded in the capital's Haidian, Chaoyang, Fangshan and Fengtai districts.

Authorities released information about the locations visited by the new cases and asked anyone who has been to those places during the same period to report to local communities as soon as possible.

Facing increased epidemic control pressure from the Delta and Omicron variants this week, stricter measures will be taken to strengthen epidemic control and prevention.

Xu Hejian, a municipal government spokesperson, said at the news conference that the city will strengthen control and prevention measures in the cold chain industry in order to identify possible infections swiftly.

Fengtai district said it will strictly conduct regular nucleic acid testing for employees in the cold chain industry every seven days.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Tianjin said on Wednesday that an outbreak in the port city has been brought under effective control, with all the new cases found among those in quarantine.

The municipality reported 14 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, its health authorities said.

Among the new infections, 12 are mild cases while the other two are moderate, the municipal health commission told a news conference on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, a total of 326 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases had been detected in the latest resurgence in Tianjin.

The city will launch a fourth round of citywide nucleic acid testing at 6 am Thursday, aiming to curb the further spread of infections and reinforce the existing outcome, the municipal epidemic prevention and control headquarters said.

The testing is scheduled to be completed in about 24 hours.

Separately, Shaanxi province reported no new locally transmitted confirmed cases or asymptomatic carriers on Tuesday, laying a good foundation for authorities to lift the lockdown and unseal closed communities in Xi'an, the provincial capital, authorities said on Wednesday.

It was the first time the province had reported no new patients or asymptomatic carriers since Dec 9, the provincial health commission said.

By the end of Tuesday, the province had reported a total of 2,077 patients in the latest outbreak, of which 1,339 were cured and discharged from hospitals.

The patients included 2,050 detected in Xi'an, 13 in Xianyang, 13 in Yan'an and one in Weinan.

The city, with a population of 13 million, will partially lift its lockdown from Thursday.

Residents of the city's Weiyang district, Chanba Ecological District and Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone will be able to move freely within the three districts.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

Contact the writers at dujuan@chinadaily.com.cn

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