China's Tianjin tightens control over travel as Omicron spreads

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2022 10:41 AM

People line up for nucleic acid testing during a citywide mass testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after local cases of the Omicron variant were detected in Tianjin, China January 9, 2022. cnsphoto via Reuters
People line up for nucleic acid testing during a citywide mass testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after local cases of the Omicron variant were detected in Tianjin, China January 9, 2022. cnsphoto via Reuters

BEIJING - The Chinese city of Tianjin, with around 14 million people, has tightened exit controls and now requires residents to obtain approval from employers or community authorities before leaving town and a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure.

The northern coastal city reported 21 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms on Sunday, the National Health Commission said on Monday, up from three a day earlier.

Tianjin said over the weekend it detected two local infections who contracted with Omicron. The city government announced the new exit rules in a statement late on Sunday.

In the central Henan province, the city of Anyang detected two local Omicron infections, and the city's outbreak could be traced back to a student arriving from Tianjin, a local paper backed by Communist party authority in Anyang said on Monday.

It remained unclear how many other local cases in Tianjin and Anyang were Omicron.

Anyang, with 5.5 million residents, suspended all its bus services from Sunday.

Nationwide, mainland China reported 97 local symptomatic cases for Sunday, up slightly from 92 a day earlier, with 60 in Henan.

The city of Xian, where local authorities are planning the gradual resumption of parcel deliveries and some businesses, reported 15 local symptomatic cases.

There were no new deaths for Sunday, leaving the death toll unchanged at 4,636. Mainland China had 103,776 confirmed symptomatic cases as of Jan. 9, including both local and imported ones. (Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Stella Qiu, Ella Cao and Tony Munroe; Editing by Kim Coghill and Michael Perry)

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