Aside from Beijing, China has reported locally transmitted infections of the Omicron variant in at least four other provinces and municipalities – in the northern city of Tianjin, the central province of Henan, the southern province of Guangdong and the northeastern province of Liaoning. However, the total number of Omicron cases remains unclear.
He Qinghua, an official at the National Health Commission (NHC), said in a briefing earlier on Saturday that the Omicron variant was also detected in Shanghai, without specifying the case count. He did not say whether the variant had been found locally or among travellers from overseas.
He said 14 provincial areas in China had found the Omicron variant in infected individuals arriving from overseas, without naming the regions.
In a statement on Saturday, the NHC reported 165 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Jan 14, down from 201 a day earlier.
Of the new infections, 104 were locally transmitted, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, compared with 143 a day earlier.
The new locally transmitted cases were in Henan, Tianjin, Guangdong, Shaanxi and Zhejiang.
China also reported 25 new asymptomatic cases for Jan 14, down from 42 infections a day earlier. China classifies asymptomatic cases separately from confirmed cases.
There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636.
As of Jan 14, mainland China had 104,745 confirmed cases.