Two patients in Beijing’s Daxing district have tested positive for the B117 strain of COVID-19. The newer strain was first detected in the United Kingdom in December.
The announcement was made on January 20 at the epidemic control press conference by the Beijing Information Office.
The news comes as the risk level for a residential community in Daxing district was raised to high. Several medium-risk areas remain in the city’s Shunyi district.
On December 14, the strain was first detected in China when a Chinese student arrived in Shanghai from the UK. The student was immediately taken to hospital for treatment. The fact that the latest cases in Beijing appear to have been locally transmitted will likely raise alarm bells. The newer strain is more transmissible than previous variants.
With Spring Festival approaching, China finds itself battling outbreaks of COVID-19 in several provinces. All those who wish to travel during the holiday will now be required to show proof of a negative test result from within seven days.
[Cover image via NIAID-RML]