Beijing city gov't unveils new COVID-19 measures ahead of Olympics
Updated: 2022-01-24 17:07:25 KST
Beijing city officials said on Sunday that all two million people living in the Fengtai District of the city will be tested for COVID-19.
This comes following a few locally transmitted cases being reported there over the weekend.
Residents have also been advised not to travel.
Although China's cases only make up a tiny fraction of the massive global surge, multiple small outbreaks around China have tested the government's strict "zero tolerance" policy.
This comes with the Beijing Winter Olympics just around the corner, slated to begin on February 4th.
Organizers have so far confirmed 72 positive cases among the 2,586 Games-related personnel who entered China from January 4th to the 22nd,.. but say they are not athletes or team officials.
Thousands more foreign Olympians, officials, journalists and support staff are still due to enter the country which has largely been sealed off from the world for the past two years.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Japan, the new daily COVID-19 tally topped 50-thousand for the second consecutive day on Sunday.
This is nearly double the tally from a week ago.
Against this backdrop, Japanese authorities will announce on Tuesday if they are to expand anti-virus measures to more prefectures from the current 16.
Over in the U.S., top infectious disease expert, Doctor Anthony Fauci, has expressed optimism about the pandemic, saying he expects the Omicron variant to reach its peak across most of the U.S. by mid-February.
During an interview with ABC on Sunday, Fauci said things are looking good, but added Americans should not get overconfident.
He noted some states in the northeast and upper mid-west have already seen peaks in cases followed by sharp declines but cases were still on the rise in southern and western states.
Across the Atlantic, in similar optimism, the World Health Organization's Europe Director says that while the Omicron variant could infect 60 percent of Europeans by March, it has moved the pandemic into a new phase and could bring it to an end in Europe by that time.
He, however, warned that it was still too early to consider COVID-19 as an endemic as the virus has surprised the world more than once and there is still the possibility of other variants.
Kim Cheong-ah, Arirang News.