14 million inhabitants of the port city of Tianjin, 150 km from Beijing, will be tested for the coronavirus after the pathogen has been detected in around 20 people, the Guardian daily reports.
Among those infected, who were first detected with the virus, are 15 children aged eight to 13, four parents and a worker from an after-school education facility. Testing the inhabitants of Tianjin began on Sunday and is scheduled to be completed within two days.
The first two cases of infection were detected in a 10-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman working in an out-of-school education facility. The omicron variant was detected in both of them.
Tianjin residents were advised not to leave or stay in their homes so that they could participate in screening. They were also told that until the coronavirus test negative was confirmed, they would not receive a “green code” in the Chinese covid application. Almost all Chinese citizens are required to present a “green” code – a covid passport, incl. in public transport vehicles.
China stepped up its zero Covid strategy in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, which is due to begin in Beijing on February 4.
The train journey between Tianjin and the capital takes less than an hour.
Millions of people have been locked in their homes in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, home to the famous Terracotta Army, and Yuzhou City, Henan Province. Both cities are further from Beijing than Tianjin, but there are greater outbreaks of infection. In the city of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, mass tests begin on Monday and schools will be closed.
On Saturday, 165 new confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported in China, 92 of which were local. Most of the new infections occurred in Henan and Shaanxi (PAP)
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