Beijing reports first local Omicron case

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The Chinese capital Beijing has reported its first locally transmitted infection of the highly Omicron variant.

Officials confirmed the detection of the highly contagious strain at a news conference on Saturday.

The Omicron variant has also been confirmed in Shanghai and Guangdong province, placing additional pressure on authorities in a country that continues to aggressively enforce a zero COVID policy.

According to the National Health Commission spokesman, Mi Feng, “Two patients were found to have Omicron in Zhongshan and Zhuhai in Guangdong in southern China.

“A case in Shanghai reported on Thursday was also confirmed as Omicron.”

Local governments have ordered mass tests in some places in Guangdong province.

The country of 1.3 billion reported 104 new local Covid-19 cases on Friday as areas such as Xi’an, Tianjin, Zhengzhou and Shenzhen locked down residential buildings. Tests at Tianjin Port found no cases, authorities said.

The country’s virus prevention measures are effective in containing Omicron.

Authorities have warned that Omicron adds to the increased risk of Covid transmission as more people return to China from overseas for the Lunar New Year holiday.

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