Omicron spreads to southern Chinese city of Zhuhai bordering Macau

Following the detection of a COVID-19 case in neighboring Zhongshan earlier in the week, the city conducted extensive testing for its 2.4 million inhabitants on Friday

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China covid-19
(Photo by Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)

After stating that it had found at least seven cases of the extremely transmittable Omicron coronavirus variant and urging civilians not to travel outside of the city, the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai canceled public bus lines on Saturday (Jan 15).

After conducting extensive testing in reaction to a case in a neighboring city, the seaside city of Zhuhai, bordering the gambling hotspot Macau, announced late Friday that confirmed Omicron had been discovered in one slightly unwell patient and six asymptomatic people.

China is struggling with so many coronavirus outbreaks, notably many of the Omicron type, as the country accelerates its anti-virus efforts in preparation for the Olympics in Beijing next month.

Thousands of local flights have been abruptly suspended, and factories have been shut down, pressuring millions of people to stay at home in recent weeks.

Officials in Zhuhai have urged citizens to leave the city only “if absolutely necessary,” with those who do being compelled to present negative COVID-19 test results from the previous 24 hours.

Following the detection of a COVID-19 case in neighboring Zhongshan earlier in the week, the city conducted extensive testing for its 2.4 million inhabitants on Friday.

On Thursday, businesses such as beauty salons, card rooms, gyms, and cinemas were directed to close, while public transport services in some parts of the city were canceled.

With its zero-tolerance policy of mandating extensive testing and rigorous security measures as soon as infections are confirmed, China has reduced COVID-19 cases to a bare minimum throughout the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

However, the fast-growing Omicron variant has put that approach to the test in recent weeks, first emerging in Tianjin, a port city near Beijing, before expanding to Anyang.

On Saturday, the country experienced 104 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.

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