Mainland China reported its first case of the omicron Covid variant on Monday in the city of Tianjin, about two hours’ drive from the capital of Beijing.
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that the omicron case was found in a traveler from overseas, who showed no symptoms but tested positive on Thursday, according to Tianjin’s local health commission.
The patient is in isolated treatment at a hospital, the commission said.
Monday, the United Kingdom reported the first publicly confirmed death globally from the omicron variant.
The newly identified variant — first reported in South Africa in late November — is highly transmissible and heavily mutated, and has raised concerns about the efficacy of existing coronavirus vaccines.
Covid-19 first emerged in mainland China in late 2019. The country controlled the outbreak within months, but the virus had meanwhile become a global pandemic.
Only a few cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Mainland China in the last 18 months, as Beijing pursues a strict “zero-tolerance” policy that can result in sudden neighborhood lockdowns or travel restrictions.
The most recent resurgence of Covid cases has been concentrated in Inner Mongolia and the country’s southeast.
The mainland health commission reported 51 locally confirmed cases on Monday, 25 of which were attributed to international travelers, with no new deaths.