The Chinese capital, Beijing, has reported its first locally transmitted case of Omicron coronavirus variant, state media reported on Saturday, less than three weeks before the Beijing Olympic Winter Games.
An official at the city’s disease control authority said at a press conference that laboratory testing found “mutations specific to the Omicron variant” in the person. The authorities have since published detailed account of the patient’s activity that dates back to 31 December.
Haidian district officials in Beijing said they had sealed up the infected person’s residential compound and workplace. They have also collected 2,430 samples for testing from people linked to the two locations.
The detection of the highly infectious Omicron variant comes less than three weeks before the opening ceremony of the Winter Games on 4 February, and the lunar new year celebrations that begin on 1 February. Public health experts say the new variant poses the biggest threat to the country’s zero-Covid strategy.