Return of the Pandemic? Omicron Concerns Rise in China as Olympics Approach

Since Wuhan, no Chinese city has experienced such a strict lockdown as the one currently in place in Xi'an. And Omicron hasn't even made its presence felt yet in the country. The upcoming Winter Olympics could change that.
By Georg Fahrion in Beijing
Health workers conducting coronavirus tests in an apartment complex in Xi'an, a city of 13 million residents. China continues to adhere to its zero-tolerance policy in the pandemic.

Health workers conducting coronavirus tests in an apartment complex in Xi'an, a city of 13 million residents. China continues to adhere to its zero-tolerance policy in the pandemic.

Foto: WANG JING / VCG / Getty Images
A bird's-eye view of Xi'an: Authorities say that Delta is to be blamed for the current outbreak in the city, with just a few cases of Omicron having been identified in the entire country.

A bird's-eye view of Xi'an: Authorities say that Delta is to be blamed for the current outbreak in the city, with just a few cases of Omicron having been identified in the entire country.

Foto: Tao Ming / AP
A volunteer bringing food packets to an apartment complex in Xi'an. Some people have tried to flee the city's strict lockdown.

A volunteer bringing food packets to an apartment complex in Xi'an. Some people have tried to flee the city's strict lockdown.

Foto: ZhangYuan / China News Service / Getty Images
Food distribution in Xi'an. The two vaccines produced in China offer little to no protection against Omicron.

Food distribution in Xi'an. The two vaccines produced in China offer little to no protection against Omicron.

Foto: CHINATOPIX / AP / dpa
A test center in Xi'an. One infected man was taken to hospital while the other 4,543 residents of his apartment complex were taken to a quarantine facility.

A test center in Xi'an. One infected man was taken to hospital while the other 4,543 residents of his apartment complex were taken to a quarantine facility.

Foto: Zheng Tingpeng / VCG / Getty Images
A policeman in Beijing keeps watch on Jan. 3 near a Winter Olympics site. With a month to go before the games, the "bubble" has already been sealed off.

A policeman in Beijing keeps watch on Jan. 3 near a Winter Olympics site. With a month to go before the games, the "bubble" has already been sealed off.

Foto: Thomas Peter / REUTERS