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COVID-19 | The first case of the Omicron variant was discovered in Beijing a few weeks before the Olympics

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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(Hong Kong) Beijing reported its first local infection of the Omicron variant, according to state media, weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics.

Posted at 12:03 AM

The infected person lives and works in Haidian District, northwest of the city, and has never traveled outside Beijing in the past two weeks. The person developed symptoms on Thursday and was tested for COVID-19 on Friday, authorities said in a press conference on Saturday.

This Omicron case comes less than three weeks before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony on February 4 and about two weeks before the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations in China.

Several Chinese cities have reported infections linked to the Omicron variant so far, including Shanghai, the western city of Xi’an, cities in southern Guangdong province such as Zhuhai and Zhongshan, and Tianjin, which is 30 minutes from Beijing. By high speed rail.

Authorities across the country have urged residents to stay in their cities for the new year, rather than go back to their hometowns. China has adopted a strict “zero COVID” policy, with authorities shutting down residential neighborhoods and even entire cities like Xi’an when a local transmission point was discovered, in order to stamp out community transmission.

The apartment complex and workplace of a patient with the Omicron variant have been cordoned off in Beijing and authorities are conducting coronavirus tests on people associated with those two sites. About 2,430 people had been tested by Saturday evening, according to the government newspaper, the Global Times.

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China reported 119 new coronavirus infections on Saturday. The country has reported 104,864 infections since the start of the pandemic.

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