Omicron in China

China’s efforts to keep the new coronavirus strain out of its borders have failed, with the country reporting its first case of the Omicron variant in the coastal city of Tianjin on Monday (Dec. 13).

The timing and location of the new case are not ideal for China’s leadership. Tianjin is right next door to Beijing, which is due to hold the Winter Olympics in a matter of weeks.

The news coincides with an expanding cluster of cases of the Delta variant in another coastal province, Zhejiang. The outbreak has seen at least a dozen publicly traded companies immediately suspend production in the province, according to a Guardian report.

Here is the full story.  Casualties issues aside (which remain unclear), this development may also be of considerable import to the political economy of China, a country that has promised near-zero Covid to its citizens, and derived legitimacy from its degree of success so far.  Yet China has low levels of natural immunity, and the effectiveness of its vaccine investments to date remains uncertain against Omicron, or for that matter against Delta.  And here is The Zvi’s update on Omicron more generally.


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