(Bloomberg) — Beijing reported the city’s first case of the omicron variant of Covid-19, mounting pressure on authorities to stem a possible outbreak less than three weeks before the Winter Olympics begin.
Authorities confirmed the detection of the highly contagious strain at a press conference on Saturday. People who have had contact with the patient are being tested, and those who were in places visited by the infected person should inform authorities, they said.
The Omicron cases were confirmed early Saturday in Shanghai and Guangdong province, as the National Health Commission warned of possible outbreaks in those areas.
China says Omicron outbreak is not yet affecting Olympic plans
China added 104 local Covid-19 cases on Friday, as areas including Xi’an, Tianjin, Zhengzhou and Shenzhen closed residential buildings. The country’s virus prevention measures are “effective” in containing omicron, a health official told a National Health Commission briefing earlier in the day.
The Winter Olympics begin on February 4 in Beijing. The nation has pledged to host “simple, safe and splendid” games, in contrast to the spectacle of the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. The winter games also face headwinds from a US-led diplomatic boycott. , about what Washington says. they are China’s “crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” charges Beijing vehemently denies.
Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom joined the protest, and Japan has said it will not send any government representatives, although it avoided the phrase “diplomatic boycott”.
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