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Chinese city of Tianjin to test 14 million people after Covid outbreak

Tianjin, a major Chinese port city near the capital Beijing, has begun mass-testing its 14 million residents after a cluster of 20 children and adults tested positive for Covid-19, including two caused by the Omicron variant.

According to the report, the citywide testing, begun on Sunday and is to be completed over two days.

The first two cases confirmed in Tianjin were a 10-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman working at the after-school centre. Both were infected by the Omicron variant.

The city near the capital Beijing launched its mass testing early Sunday, advising residents to stay at or near home to be available for the community-level nucleic-acid screening.

In subsequent testing of close contacts, 18 others tested positive and 767 tested negative as of Saturday night.

Millions of people are being confined to their homes in Xi’an and Yuzhou, two other cities that are farther away but have larger outbreaks. The city of Zhengzhou, a provincial capital 70km (40 miles) north of Yuzhou, is also conducting mass testing and closing schools starting Monday.

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

Of the new infections, 92 were locally transmitted, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, from 95 a day earlier. Most of the new local cases were in the provinces of Henan, home to Yuzhou, and Shaanxi, home to Xi’an.

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