Hong Kong (CNN) China has detected its first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the mainland, posing a fresh challenge to the country’s zero-Covid strategy in the lead-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics. Health authorities in the northern port city of Tianjin were able to identify and isolate the carrier of the variant — a traveler who arrived from overseas on December 9, before it entered into the community, state media reported Monday. The infected individual was initially identified as an asymptomatic carrier. Subsequent genome sequencing reviewed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it was the Omicron variant, according to state media. The individual is now being treated in isolation in hospital, the report said, without providing further details. The fast-spreading Omicron variant has raised alarms around the world, prompting governments to impose travel restrictions. It has been reported in more than 50 countries since first detected in South Africa late last month. China was ready to approve Western mRNA vaccines months ago. Why is it still holding off? Read More Much remains unknown about the variant, which carries an unusually large number of mutations that scientists worry could potentially make it more transmissible and… Read full this story
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