China’s Tianjin reports fewer COVID-19 cases as its outbreak shows signs of easing

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Tianjin municipality reported fewer COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as its outbreak showed early signs of easing, while the daily case count in the city of Anyang hit a record high.

Tianjin, a key port in northern China, reported 18 locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms on Monday, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Tuesday. This marks the lowest daily number in a week.

NHC official He Qinghua said on Saturday that the risk of the epidemic spreading from Tianjin to other regions is gradually decreasing, as new cases in the past three days have mostly been in people who have been quarantined. .

Volkswagen and Toyota assembly plants in Tianjin remained closed due to the outbreak. Volkswagen’s component plant in the city has resumed part of the shifts since Thursday last week, according to a statement from Volkswagen Group China on Tuesday.

Tianjin has reported more than 300 local symptomatic cases from the current cluster, which has also spread Omicron infections to two other cities.

Tianjin’s case count remains lower than many overseas outbreaks, but it has made it harder for residents to leave the city, sealed off high-risk communities and launched multiple rounds of testing among its 14 million inhabitants, in accordance with the Chinese directive to quickly curb any outbreak. as possible.

The capital Beijing, set to host the Winter Olympics from February 4, reported a local case with confirmed symptoms on Monday. The infected individual was a close contact of a local case of Omicron reported on January 15.

Anyang City, which detected Omicron in an outbreak it said could be attributed to someone arriving from Tianjin, reported 94 local symptomatic cases for Monday, the highest daily count since Jan. 8.

Anyang stepped up restrictions over the weekend, demanding that residents not leave their communities or villages at will.

China reported a total of 127 local cases with confirmed symptoms for Monday, up from 163 a day earlier.

There were no new deaths on Monday, leaving the death toll at 4,636. As of January 17, mainland China had 105,258 confirmed symptomatic cases, including local and imported.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Stella Qiu, Nori Shirouzu, Albee Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill and Michael Perry)

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