China’s first large-scale epidemic of the Omicron form of coronavirus may be underway in Tianjin, less than a month before the Winter Olympics begin in Beijing.
The government has separated Tianjin and its 14 million citizens into three degrees of limitations, according to state broadcaster CCTV, starting with lockdown zones where individuals are not permitted to leave their homes at all.
Every other day, one family member from each household is allowed to go for grocery shopping in control areas, however in preventive areas, people must stay in their immediate neighborhoods.
Buses and trains between Tianjin and Beijing have been suspended, and residents have been advised not to leave the city unless they have an emergency.
After a cluster of 20 children and adults tested positive for Covid-19, including at least two with the Omicron variety, the city initiated widespread testing of all residents on Sunday.
Another 20 people tested positive on Sunday, bringing the total to 40. Officials said earlier that the virus has been circulating so the number of cases could rise.
In the run-up to the Olympics, China has tightened its zero-tolerance policy. The games begin on February 4th.
China had reported about a dozen Omicron cases previously, most among people who had arrived from abroad and were isolated.