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Inner Mongolia moves to block COVID-19 strain

2022-10-11 By Yuan Hui in Hohhot and Zhou Huiying (chinadaily.com.cn)

Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, conducted a new round of mass nucleic acid testing on Monday, attempting to control the sources of infection and cut off transmission chains, local officials said.

"The current outbreak in Hohhot involved the Omicron variant BF.7, which is more infectious and transmissible," Liu Yuanjun, an official with the city's health commission, said at a news conference on Monday. "In the face of the rapid development of the epidemic, nucleic acid testing is key. We can determine the epidemic situation with the number and distribution of infections after each screening and then scientifically arrange the mass testing and control measures."

The region reported 119 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 559 asymptomatic carriers on Sunday, the region's health commission said.

Of those, 87 confirmed and 499 asymptomatic cases were detected in Hohhot, bringing the current tally in the city in the latest outbreak to 794 and 2,538, respectively.

The city has increased the number of designated hospitals and makeshift hospitals, providing up to 5,900 available beds, Liu said.

"Medical workers will provide special services for certain patients, including children, pregnant women and patients with underlying diseases," Liu said. "Different treatment methods will be implemented for patients depending on their condition."

During the period, the city is also making efforts to meet residents' daily needs.

To ensure electrical power, the city's bureau of industry and information technology has evaluated the coal storage in power plants and coordinated and solved problems in the process of coal transportation.

"We have guaranteed the transportation of supplies for six power plants and more than 30 heating enterprises in the city," said Li Minna, deputy director of the bureau. "Currently, the coal storage at the six power plants can ensure electricity for more than 15 days."

Meanwhile, Yantai, Shandong province, also reported infections involving Omicron BF.7 on Monday. The city has reported one confirmed case and nine asymptomatic cases since Oct 4.

All infections were found in people who had returned from other regions outside the province and their close contacts, local officials said at a Monday news conference.

Gene sequencing results showed a clear transmission chain, which had high similarity to cases outside the province.

All the patients are in stable condition and have been transported to the city's Qishan Hospital for observation and treatment.