Tianjin begins city-wide testing after at least two local Omicron cases detected

People wearing protective masks walk down a street, following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China, on January 4, 2022. REUTERS / Aly Song

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SHENZHEN, China, Jan.9 (Reuters) – The northern coastal city of Tianjin began testing its population of around 14 million on Sunday after at least two local cases of the highly communicable Omicron variant were detected, state media reported.

Residents of four districts will be screened for the next 24 hours, while other districts will be screened the next day, the Tianjin government said.

Residents will only get the green health code necessary for travel once they receive a negative result, he said.

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The city advised residents not to leave the city for unnecessary reasons, the government said late on Saturday.

The Tianjin outbreak poses risks for Beijing and the upcoming Winter Olympics, due to the large number of commuters working and living in the two cities, the state-owned Global Times said, citing an anonymous immunologist.

It comes after local transmission of the imported Omicron variant was found in the southern city of Guangzhou, according to a national health official in December, although the number of cases was not disclosed.

China reported 165 confirmed coronavirus cases for Jan.8, up from 159 the day before, its health authority said on Sunday.

Of the new infections, 92 were transmitted locally, according to a statement from the National Health Commission, from 95 a day earlier.

Most of the new local cases occurred in Henan and Shaanxi provinces.

China reported 46 new asymptomatic cases, which it classifies separately from confirmed cases, compared with 52 the day before.

There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636. Mainland China had 103,619 confirmed cases as of Jan.8.

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Reporting by David Kirton; Edited by William Mallard, Lincoln Feast and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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