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The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics kicked off last month while the omicron COVID-19 variant was rampant in China and the rest of the world. China’s “COVID zero” policy, with its strict restrictions on people’s movements, has faced a critical test.

COVID-19 is extremely difficult to contain as it can spread through stealth transmission from those who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Omicron is a distinctly more infectious strain than previous variants of concerns.

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