China detects more Omicron cases as cities tighten restrictions

China detects more Omicron cases as cities tighten restrictions
# 10 January 2022 10:22 (UTC +04:00)

China has reported more cases of the Omicron variant on Monday, with authorities on high alert over flare-ups in major cities just weeks ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, APA reports citing The Guardian.

Authorities are battling several outbreaks - including in Xi’an where 13 million city residents are currently in their third week of lockdown.

Fears have also grown about a cluster of infections in the northern city of Tianjin, which was linked to two Omicron cases reported on Monday in the city of Anyang around 400 kilometres (250 miles) away, Agence France-Press reports.

“The general public should not leave Tianjin unless essential to do so,” city officials said in a statement Sunday.

Those who need to leave must obtain official permission and test negative for the virus within 48 hours of their departure, it added.

Schools and university campuses have been closed, and trains into Beijing from Tianjin have been cancelled.

Road checkpoints have been set up for vehicles entering the capital.

Tianjin - just 150 kilometres from Beijing - has already ordered the testing of all 14 million residents.

Another 21 cases were reported in the city Monday, although the variant of the virus wasn’t confirmed.

Authorities in the city of Anyang in central Henan province also announced the testing of all residents - more than five million people - over the weekend. The city on Monday reported two Omicron cases linked to the Tianjin cluster.

Henan reported 60 new cases Monday but did not break down the tally by variant. The provincial capital Zhengzhou has closed schools and kindergartens, and stopped restaurants from accepting dine-in customers.