Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Beijing Reports 1st Local Omicron Case Ahead of Olympics

Beijing Reports 1st Local Omicron Case Ahead of Olympics

Sunday, 16 January, 2022 - 10:45
People line up to get a nasal swab for the COVID-19 test to meet traveling requirements at a mobile coronavirus testing facility outside a commercial office buildings in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. Beijing has reported its first local omicron infection, according to state media, weeks before the Winter Olympic Games are due to start. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Beijing has reported its first local omicron infection, according to state media, weeks before the Winter Olympic Games are due to start.


The infected person lives and works in the city´s northwestern district of Haidian and had no travel history outside of Beijing for the past two weeks. The individual experienced symptoms on Thursday and was tested on Friday for COVID-19, officials said in a news conference Saturday.


The news of the infection comes less than three weeks before the Winter Olympic Games´ opening ceremony on Feb 4., and around two weeks before the start of Lunar New Year celebrations in China.


According to The Associated Press, so far, multiple cities in China have reported omicron infections, including Zhuhai and Zhongshan in southern Guangdong province as well as the city of Tianjin, which is 30 minutes from Beijing by high-speed rail.


Officials across the country have urged residents to stay in their cities for the new year, instead of traveling back to their hometowns. China has adopted a strict "zero-Covid" policy, with authorities locking down residential compounds and even entire cities such as Xi´an when a local outbreak has been discovered in an effort to stamp out community transmission.


The Beijing patient´s residential compound and workplace have been sealed off and authorities are mass-testing people linked to either location for the coronavirus. Some 2,430 people had been tested as of Saturday night, according to The Global Times, a state-owned newspaper.


Editor Picks

Multimedia