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China struggles with Omicron with just weeks to go until Winter Olympics Updated: 2022-01-18 17:10:51 KST

China is struggling to stamp out the highly transmissible Omicron variant as the strain has been reported in nine districts of six different provinces in less than two weeks.
This comes on the back of the country reporting its highest number of cases in nearly two years on Monday at 223.

In particular, Beijing, the city that is to host the Winter Olympics in less than three weeks, reported its first locally transmitted case of the Omicron variant over the weekend.
With that, the Chinese capital is on high alert and is now demanding a negative test as well as a follow-up test for those entering the city while locals are urged not to travel for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
Athletes and officials involved in the Winter Olympics have already started to land in Beijing ahead of the Games, immediately entering a tightly controlled bubble separating them from the rest of the population.

China has subsequently announced it would not be selling tickets to members of the public for the Games and only people invited will be allowed to attend.
Currently, it's not clear how they will be selected.
During a virtual address to the 2022 Economic Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored Beijing's confidence in ensuring that the Games are a success.

"We are confident that China will present a streamlined, safe and splendid Games to the world. The official motto for Beijing 2022 is 'Together for a Shared Future.' Indeed, let us join hands with full confidence, and work together for a shared future."

Athletes will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but those who are unvaccinated will have to spend 21 days in quarantine upon arrival in China.
Kim Cheong-ah, Arirang News.
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