China has stepped up its zero tolerance COVID-19 strategy in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, which open Feb. 4 in Beijing. The Chinese capital is 115 kilometers (70 miles) northwest of Tianjin and connected by a high-speed rail link that takes less than one hour.
Millions of people are being confined to their homes in Xi’an and Yuzhou, two other cities that are farther away but have larger outbreaks. The city of Zhengzhou, a provincial capital 70 kilometers (40 miles) north of Yuzhou, is also conducting mass testing and closing schools starting Monday.
The first two cases confirmed in Tianjin were a 10-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman working at the after-school center. Both were infected by the omicron variant. In subsequent testing of close contacts, 18 others tested positive and 767 tested negative as of Saturday night.