14M residents of Chinese city to undergo second round of mandatory COVID-19 testing

The Chinese city of Tianjin ordered another round of COVID-19 testing for 14 million residents following the discovery of 97 cases of the new omicron variant.

Tianjin, just over 60 miles outside of Beijing, is forcing residents to stay indoors while they await testing.

The city has conducted 12 million tests so far, with 7.8 million samples returned, according to The Associated Press. Tianjing first reported infections on Saturday and confirmed that all the cases were of the omicron variant, which has become the dominant strain in most countries.

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The infections were worrying for Chinese officials since Tianjin is about an hour from the capital city of Beijing, which is set to host the Winter Olympics next month.

The Lunar New Year, a peak travel period for Chinese citizens, is also approaching on Feb. 1.

China confirmed 166 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to the AP, but Chinese data has largely been contested over suspicions of the communist government holding back key facts and numbers.

Some Chinese cities have enforced strict crackdowns to limit the spread of the virus in a zero-case policy. The city of Zhengzhou in the province of Henan has shuttered nonessential public facilities and banned dining in public restaurants, Reuters reported.