The northern Chinese city of Tianjin ordered a second round of COVID-19 testing on all 14 million residents Wednesday following the discovery of dozens of cases of the Omicron variant, AP reported. Millions more are under lockdown in other Chinese cities under a strict zero-COVID strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The restrictions have led to a shutdown at major manufacturers, bottlenecks at ports and a short supply of workers, sparking fears that the disruptions will spread to the global economy, WSJ reported.
“China’s early success in containing the pandemic through iron-fist, authoritarian policies emboldened its officials,” columnist Li Yuan writes. “Virus control comes first. The people’s lives, well-being and dignity come much later.”
More than 20 million people are in lockdown in China, as officials race to put out outbreaks just 3 weeks before the Olympics begin. The Winter Olympics are three weeks away, but tickets have yet to go on sale. Airlines are changing schedules, creating travel confusion. And a spate of Covid outbreaks around China has put officials on high alert.
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China's northern port city of Tianjin and central province of Henan have further tightened Covid restrictions as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread. Tianjin has postponed its annual municpal “two meetings”, because of the outbreak.