The first confirmed case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in China was reported on Monday, December 13.
Tianjin Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19 entered Tianjin from abroad on Thursday, December 9. The carrier was later confirmed to be infected with the omicron variant.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also reported imported cases of the omicron variant in November. There is no reported local transmission of the variant in either Hong Kong or the Chinese mainland, as of press time.
Little is still known about omicron, which was first discovered in South Africa in November. A World Health Organization technical briefing updated on December 10 suggested that its spread would likely outpace the delta variant in places where local transmission was present, as reported by CNN.
The severity of disease caused by omicron is currently unclear. However, many cases appear to show mild symptoms.
Omicron or no omicron, China will continue to pursue its strategy of ‘zero-COVID’ for the time being; borders will remain closed and restrictions at home will continue to be enforced as and when is necessary.
[Cover image via Pixabay]