China under pressure to deal with Omicron spread

China's strategy to quickly extinguish local outbreaks of COVID-19, through targeted lockdowns and mass testing, is facing renewed challenges amid the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

With urgency increasing in the face of the impending Lunar New Year travel season and the winter Olympics in Beijing.

The northern Chinese port city of Tianjin reported 41 domestically transmitted infections on Wednesday (January 12), up from 33 the previous day.

And Volkswagen Group's China Unit has closed its vehicle plant and components factory in Tianjin because of the outbreak.

The city - which lies just 100km (62miles) from the capital Beijing - is stepping up efforts to reign in the spread of the virus, which has already reached other cities.

Dalian in the northeast and Anyang in central Henan province have both reported positive Omicron tests from individuals arriving from Tianjin.

Although the numbers are tiny compared with outbreaks in many other countries, the number of local Omicron infections is unclear and across China, several cities have ordered quarantine for people who have recently visited either Tianjin or Anyang.

As the country heads into the Lunar New Year holiday later this month many cities, including Beijing, have encouraged people to stay put rather than travel to see family.

And with the Beijing Winter Olympics due to begin on February 4th, officials in the capital encouraged commuters from satellite towns to work from home.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting