Covid-19: Chinese city tests 14 million people
- With less than a month left for the Winter Olympics, the discovery of a potential Omicron cluster near Beijing would have sent alarm bells ringing in the capital, some 130km away from Tianjin.
Tianjin, a port city of 14 million near China’s capital Beijing, began mass testing on Sunday after a cluster of 20 adults and children tested positive for Covid-19 including at least two with the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Epidemiologists told state media that containing the Omicron variant in Tianjin, considered a “gateway” to Beijing will be the “first real” battle against the variant on the mainland.
With less than a month left for the Winter Olympics, the discovery of a potential Omicron cluster near Beijing would have sent alarm bells ringing in the capital, some 130km away from Tianjin.
The source of the cluster outbreak remains unknown and there’s a possibility of a spillover, they said.
The Tianjin municipal government said the two cases were not linked with the imported Omicron case detected last December in the city. “Among the 20 infected people, 15 are children aged between 8 and 13. The cases are concentrated in Tianjin’s Jinnan and Nankai districts,” the tabloid, Global Times reported.
The other infections are mainly students and their family members related to a daycare centre and a primary school. “The Tianjin outbreak poses risks to Beijing and the upcoming Winter Olympics, because of the large number of commuters working and living in the two cities,” the report said, citing an unnamed immunologist.
Tianjin residents have been advised to remain home to be available for the mandatory nucleic acid testing.
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