China Orders Another Round Of Tests For Tianjin's 14M Residents
The northern Chinese city of Tianjin ordered a second round of COVID-19 testing of all 14 million residents Wednesday following the discovery of 97 cases of the omicron variant during initial screenings that began Sunday, Jan. 9, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Photo Insert: High-speed rail service and other forms of transportation between the cities have been suspended, leading to some disruptions in supply chains, including for packaged food items sold in convenience stores.
Residents were asked to remain where they are until the results of all the nucleic acid tests are received, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Xinhua said authorities have carried out almost 12 million tests so far, with 7.8 million samples returned. Infections were first reported on Saturday in the city that is only about an hour from Beijing, which is to host the Winter Olympics from Feb. 4.
High-speed rail service and other forms of transportation between the cities have been suspended, leading to some disruptions in supply chains, including for packaged food items sold in convenience stores.
Tianjin’s COVID-19 prevention and control office said all who have tested positive in the initial testing round were found to have the omicron variant, of which China has so far only reported a small number of cases. The source of the outbreak is still unknown and many who are spreading the variant may be doing so unwittingly because they show no symptoms.
It has vaccinated nearly 85% of its population, according to Our World in Data. The shots have helped reduce the severity of disease, although Chinese vaccines are considered less effective than those used elsewhere.
In total, China announced 166 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours before Wednesday, including 33 in Tianjin and 118 in Henan province but just eight in the city of Xi’an, home to the famed Terracotta Warrior statues and major industries, where a lockdown was imposed Dec. 23.
China says it currently has 3,476 active COVID-19 cases. The country has reported 4,636 deaths among 104,189 total cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.