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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Tianjin launches nationwide testing after at least two local Omicron cases detected

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

The Tianjin government said residents of four districts would be tested over the next 24 hours while those in other districts would be tested the next day.

It added that residents would get the green health code required to travel only after getting a negative result.

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

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 state-owned Global Times said, citing an unnamed immunologist.

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

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

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

According to a statement from the National Health Commission, 92 of the new infections were locally transmitted, up from 95 a day earlier.

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

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

No new deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 4,636. As of January 8, 103,619 cases were confirmed in Mainland China.

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Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by William Mallard, Lincoln Feast and Ana Nicolasi da Costa

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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