Omicron has breached the political, financial and technological centers of China for the first time, putting pressure on the country’s response to the more transmissible variant as it awaits the Winter Olympics starting in less than three weeks.

China has detected locally transmitted omicron infections in the capital Beijing, the financial center Shanghai and Guangdong — where the southern technology center of Shenzhen is located — areas which together account for one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product. The highly mutated strain has been detected in 1 out of every 5 provinces, while 14 of them have reported imported cases.

While still very small in number, the flare-ups are causing consternation because of their timing, in addition to their location. The Lunar New Year holiday, an event marked by mass travel as millions return home from urban centers to attend large family gatherings, begins in two weeks on Feb. 1. The Beijing Winter Olympics are slated to begin later that week on Feb. 4.