Omicron hits Beijing weeks before start of Winter Olympics

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Omicron hits Beijing weeks before start of Winter Olympics.
image: twitter

Beijing has detected a case of Omicron just a few weeks before the Winter Olympics are due to begin

With the Winter Olympics due to start in Beijing on February 4, Chinese authorities have revealed today, Saturday, January 15, that a case of the highly contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected in the capital city.

In a news conference in Beijing, Pang Xinghuo, an official at the city’s disease control authority, explained that laboratory results had detected one person with ‘mutations specific to the Omicron variant’.

An official from the Haidian district – which is home to many tech company headquarters – reported that the infected person’s home and workplace have both been sealed up, with 2,430 test samples apparently being collected from occupants and fellow employees at both of them. 17 locations known to have been visited by the infected person have also had access restricted.

China has been operating its ‘zero tolerance’ Covid strategy, with several cities totally locked down, and residents confined to their homes. There has been concern in the country over citizens arriving from overseas to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday which begins at the end of January.

Speaking to reporters today, Mi Feng, a spokesman for the National Health Commission explained that both the Delta and Omicron variants pose a problem for the country. Yesterday, Friday 14, a case of Omicron was detected in Zhuhai, a city bordering the gambling hub of Macau.

Zhuhai residents were asked to avoid leaving the city by officials, unless it was absolutely necessary, in a bid to confine any outbreak. A mass testing campaign was put in place yesterday for the population of 2.4 million, with another case of Covid being detected in the neighbouring city of Zhongshan a few days ago.

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