A first case of the Ómicron variant was reported in Beijing three weeks before the winter Olympics were held in that city, as China tries to contain outbreaks of Covid-19 in various regions.
The locally transmitted infection was detected in the Haidian district of the Chinese capital, where many headquarters of technology companies are located, municipal official Pang Xinghuo said at a press conference today. Authorities are testing the other occupants of the patient’s residential block, as well as bordering offices, and restricted access to 17 places related to the infected person, Pang was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. Faced with the imminent celebration of the Winter Olympic Games, Beijing tried to shield itself against the Ómicron variant by prohibiting the access of people from areas with registered cases and demanding recent negative tests, in addition to asking the population not to leave the city in the next Spring Festival holidays.The announcement of the first contagion took place hours after the southern city of Zhuhai, located on the border with Macau, imposed travel restrictions on the population after the detection of seven cases of this variant. The authorities of this coastal town announced last night that they had detected a mild patient and six asymptomatic patients with a massive test among its population launched from a case in a neighboring city. As a result, bus lines were suspended in some neighborhoods and its 2.4 million inhabitants were asked not to leave Zhuhai “unless necessary.” Those who wish to do so, will need to show a negative Covid-19 test performed in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, beauty salons, gyms and cinemas have been closed since last Thursday. Millions of residents, in several cities, are confined to their homes, many domestic flights were cancelled and some factories were closed for prevention.