China faces omicron test weeks ahead of Beijing Olympics

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Just weeks before hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics, China is battling multiple coronavirus outbreaks in half a dozen cities, with the one closest to the capital driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

With the success of the Games and China’s national dignity at stake, Beijing is doubling down on its “zero-tolerance” COVID-19 policy.

Across China, more than 20 million people are in some form of lockdown, with many prevented from leaving their homes.

Tianjin, only about an hour from Beijing, is on high alert, although it has refrained from imposing a complete lockdown such as that in Xi’an, a city of 14 million.

Instead, it has sealed off several residential communities and universities, canceled almost all flights, suspended high speed train service and closed highways. People leaving the city are required to present negative COVID-19 tests and receive special permission.

The city conducted mass testing for a second time for its 14 million residents on Wednesday, and asked them to stay put in their homes until


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