Officials in Beijing have urged for an end to overseas deliveries, saying that the Omicron coronavirus variant can spread by opening packages that originate in other countries, BBC News reported.
The officials calling to end overseas deliveries cited the case of a woman who contracted the Omicron variant after opening a parcel later found to have traces of the variant on it, BBC News reported. The officials noted that the woman had no prior travel history.
The virus was discovered on the surface of a letter the woman received from Canada as well as on the inside of an unopened letter, health official Pang Xinghuo told reporters on Monday, BBC News reported. Dozens of letters from the same batch were tested, with five reportedly containing traces of COVID-19.
The U.S. federal government should have stopped funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2015 when China reduced its cooperation with the French in building and operating the lab, according to the leader of an investigation into COVID-19’s origins by the State Department under the Trump administration.
In 2015, French intelligence officials warned the U.S. State Department and their own foreign ministry that China was cutting back on agreed collaboration at the lab, former State official David Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
By 2017, the French “were kicked out” of the lab and cooperation ceased, leading French officials to warn the State Department that they had grave concerns as to Chinese motivations, according to Asher.