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The Chinese language capital, Beijing, has reported its first regionally transmitted case of Omicron coronavirus variant, state media reported on Saturday, lower than three weeks earlier than the Beijing Olympic Winter Video games.

An official on the metropolis’s illness management authority mentioned at a press convention that laboratory testing discovered “mutations particular to the Omicron variant” within the individual. The authorities have since printed an in depth account of the affected person’s exercise that dates again to 31 December.

Haidian district officers in Beijing mentioned that they had sealed up the contaminated individual’s residential compound and office. They’ve additionally collected 2,430 samples for testing from individuals linked to the 2 places.

The detection of the extremely infectious Omicron variant comes lower than three weeks earlier than the opening ceremony of the Winter Video games on 4 February, and the lunar new yr celebrations that start on 1 February. Public well being consultants say the brand new variant poses the most important risk to the nation’s zero-Covid technique.

The primary Omicron case in Mainland China was detected within the northern metropolis of Tianjin on 9 December from an abroad returnee, who confirmed no signs on arrival. Previously month, at the least 14 provincial-level locations in China – together with Shanghai – have reported Omicron instances, each imported and regionally transmitted, in keeping with state media.

“Now Beijing’s epidemic prevention and management work faces the double threat of abroad and home instances,” Pang Xinghuo, the deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Centre for Illness Prevention and Management, mentioned on the press convention.

China cases

Previously few weeks, dozens of home and worldwide flights have been suspended to manage the unfold of the illness. The authorities have additionally urged residents to not depart city unnecessarily in the course of the lunar new yr vacation interval.

The Chinese language capital has been on excessive alert for the reason that first reported Omicron case in neighbouring Tianjin final month. On Saturday, Xu Hejian, the Chinese language capital’s spokesperson, urged the municipal authorities departments to “guarantee the security of the capital, the Winter Olympics, and its residents”.

Final week, Beijing’s visitors administration authority requested individuals to steer clear of the particular automobiles used to ferry athletes to and from the Winter Olympics venues within the occasion of a automotive incident.

The Winter Video games, which start on 4 February, will likely be saved in a “closed loop”. Because of this solely a restricted variety of spectators could also be allowed in venues. Abroad spectators is not going to be allowed to enter the nation, and personnel concerned within the Video games must keep away from contact with individuals exterior the loop.

On Saturday, China’s Nationwide Well being Fee reported 165 new confirmed coronavirus instances for 14 January, down from 201 a day earlier. Of the brand new infections, 104 have been regionally transmitted, in keeping with a press release by the Nationwide Well being Fee, in comparison with 143 a day earlier.

Extra reporting by Reuters information company

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