Updates: Chinese mainland reports first case of COVID-19 Omicron variant from overseas arrival
Published: Dec 13, 2021 08:52 PM
File Photo:Xinhua

File Photo:Xinhua

China's northern city of Tianjin reported an Omicron COVID-19 variant infection from an overseas arrival, the first such case in the Chinese mainland. The patient is receiving treatment at a designated hospital. 

North China's Tianjin Municipality reported on Monday night that it detected the Omicron variant in the respiratory samples of an asymptomatic patient who was diagnosed on Thursday. 

According to previous reports, one asymptomatic case was detected in Tianjin on Thursday. The carrier is a Polish national who arrived in Tianjin from Warsaw. 

Upon entering China, the asymptomatic patient had a normal temperature and declared no symptoms, but later tested positive in a nucleic acid test and was transferred to a designated hospital. The patient was managed in a closed loop system during the whole process.

The city's authorities reminded the public that they should continue to maintain good hygiene habits and adhere to effective preventive and control measures. In the announcement, Tianjin emphasized the need for children aged 3 to 11 and elderly people aged 60 and above to be vaccinated against the COVID-19.

China has displayed confidence in curbing Omicron as vaccine manufacturers sprint for breakthroughs. 

The country's two leading manufacturers, Sinopharm and Sinovac, as well as researchers at the University of Hong Kong, said they are making major progress in studying the Omicron variant just two weeks after the WHO declared the new mutation as "a variant of concern."

China's first home-developed anti-COVID-19 drug based on an "antibody cocktail therapy" has been approved for public use on Wednesday. Studies showed that the drug could retain neutralizing activity against numerous variants including Omicron.

Chinese epidemiologists also called for joint global efforts on the studies of vaccines, antibodies and medicines against the Omicron variant. 

"We do not need to be afraid of Omicron with the implementation of the dynamic zero-case policy and strictly observing the precise prevention and control measures," said China's top respiratory expert, Zhong Nanshan. 

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has reported seven Omicron infections as of Monday, all of which are imported and have not entered the community. China's island of Taiwan has reported three Omicron infections as of Monday.