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As the omicron variant surges, China locks down southern metropolis.
As the omicron variant surges, China locks down southern metropolis.

China: In response to an increase in COVID-19 cases attributable at least in part to the omicron variant, China has ordered residents of the southern city of Baise to stay at home and suspended transportation links.

Classes have been postponed, non-essential companies have been shut down, and citizens have been required to undergo mass testing. Restaurants can only serve take-out orders. The sole reason traffic lights have been turned red is to warn cars to stay at home.

According to health officials, 135 cases had been reported in the city as of Tuesday, with at least two of them being omicron. In keeping with China's "zero-tolerance" response to the pandemic, the city has been placed under lockdown.

Even if only a few cases have been found, the policy demands that stringent measures be taken. Preventing breakouts during the present Beijing Winter Olympic Games is a big concern. On Tuesday, no new cases were recorded in the Chinese capital.

Organizers said Tuesday that more than 30 athletes at the Beijing Olympics have been placed in isolation facilities after testing positive for the coronavirus. The average length of time spent in isolation is seven days.

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