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Beijing Winter Olympics overshadowed by Omicron discovery


Beijing, where the Winter Olympics starts in three weeks, has reported its first locally transmitted cases of Omicron, according to state media.

City officials said the first Omicron variant infection was found in a woman from Haidian district in the north of the capital on Saturday. Since then at least six more cases of the super-infectious Covid-19 variant have been discovered in the capital.

 

The woman had not left the city in the previous two weeks or had contact with a positive case. Two people she lived with tested negative. Health workers collected 2,430 samples from people linked to her residence and workplace.

The Omicron discovery could threaten the opening ceremony of the Winter Games scheduled for February 4, as China has a strict zero-Covid policy.

The first Omicron case in mainland China was found on December 9 in Tianjin city, 130 kilometres southeast of Beijing. The infection was discovered in an asymptotic overseas returnee.

Local authorities in China have warned residents against non-essential travel during the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on February 1. Hundreds of millions of Chinese usually travel during the annual break. This year, traveller are require a negative test taken within 48 hours of their journey.

Published : January 16, 2022

By : THE NATION