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China’s Tianjin starts citywide COVID-19 testing

Children, accompanied by their parents, register their information to receive COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination site in north China's Tianjin, Nov 4, 2021. (LI RAN / XINHUA)

TIANJIN / BEIJING – North China's Tianjin, a municipality that neighbors Beijing, has decided to start a citywide nucleic acid testing after 20 people tested positive for COVID-19, authorities said Sunday.

The infections were reported from 6 pm Friday to 9 pm Saturday in Jinnan District, and the gene sequencing found the first two locally transmitted confirmed cases were infected with the VOC/Omicron variant, according to the municipal headquarters for COVID-19 prevention and control.

The other 18 infections are mainly students and their family members related to a daycare center and a primary school where the first two cases were from, Gu Qing, director of the municipal health commission, said at a press conference late Saturday.

The virus has spread for at least three generations in the latest resurgence, and more cases may emerge, said Zhang Ying, deputy director of the city's center for disease control and prevention.

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It is not confirmed yet whether the infections are related to the imported case of Omicron variant infection in the city.

The citywide nucleic acid testing is expected to be completed in 24 hours in four districts from 7 am Sunday and in 12 other districts from 7 am Monday, and residents will not be given a green health code until receiving a negative test result, the headquarters said. 

The Chinese mainland on Saturday reported 92 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Sunday.

Of the new local cases, 56 were reported in Henan, 30 in Shaanxi, three in Tianjin, two in Zhejiang, and one in Guangdong, the commission said.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 103,619 by Saturday, including 3,392 patients still receiving treatment, of whom 26 were in severe condition

Also reported were 73 new imported cases in 12 provincial-level regions, according to the commission.

Two suspected cases from outside the mainland were newly reported in Shanghai, said the commission, adding that no new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on the day.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 103,619 by Saturday, including 3,392 patients still receiving treatment, of whom 26 were in severe condition.

A total of 95,591 patients had been discharged from hospitals on the mainland, and 4,636 had died as a result of the virus.

A total of 46 asymptomatic cases were newly reported Saturday, all of whom arrived from outside the mainland.  

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