Cities throughout China are applying stricter restrictions in an attempt to limit new COVID-19 outbreaks, with Tianjin facing the highly contagious Omicron strain that has been discovered locally in two other provinces.

On Thursday, the Chinese port city of Tianjin reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases as it stepped up efforts to contain an epidemic of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Following the identification of 97 cases of the omicron variant during initial screenings that began Sunday, Tianjin authorities ordered a second round of pandemic testing on all 14 million inhabitants on Wednesday.

Residents have been urged to stay put until the results of all nucleic acid testing are received, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

According to Xinhua, authorities have conducted roughly 12 million tests and received 7.8 million samples. Infections were initially recorded on Saturday in the city, which is located approximately an hour south of Beijing, which will host the Winter Olympics beginning Feb. 4.

According to a Tianjin official speaking at a Wednesday press conference, the latest outbreak has resulted in the detection of 50 locally transmitted cases with proven symptoms.

The 14 million-person city, located approximately 100 kilometers from Beijing, is now enforcing strict precautions to prevent the virus from spreading, particularly to adjacent Beijing.

The outbreak in Tianjin has been related to cases in the central Chinese city of Anyang, where 84 confirmed infections have occurred since Saturday.

Dalian, in northeastern China, reported late Wednesday that an individual arriving from Tianjin had also contracted the Omicron variant.

On Wednesday, Anyang in central China's Henan province recorded 43 locally symptomatic cases, down from 65 the previous day.

The city announced Monday that it has identified two Omicron illnesses and that the current outbreak could be attributed to a student from Tianjin.

Numerous cities, including Beijing, are urging residents to stay put for the Lunar New Year vacation, which is traditionally the busiest travel period of the year.

On Wednesday, mainland China reported 124 locally transmitted symptomatic cases, down from 166 the previous day.

As of Jan. 12, mainland China had confirmed 104,379 cases, including both domestic and international cases, since the pandemic broke out more than two years ago.

The omicron strain spreads more rapidly than other coronavirus strains and has already established itself as a dominant strain in a number of nations.

Meanwhile, China has cancelled over two dozen scheduled flights from the United States after multiple passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.