COVID-hit Beijing increases curbs, fears Shanghai-like misery - GulfToday

COVID-hit Beijing increases curbs, fears Shanghai-like misery


A child receives a throat swab for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in Beijing on Thursday. AP

Gulf Today Report

The Chinese capital of Beijing closed some public spaces and stepped up checks at others on Thursday, as most of the city's 22 million residents embarked on more COVID-19 mass testing aimed at averting a Shanghai-like lockdown.

Beijing shifted more classes online Thursday in a further tightening of COVID-19 restrictions, as China’s capital seeks to prevent a wider outbreak.


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The city of 21 million has already ordered three rounds of mass testing this week for the virus, with the third due to take place on Friday, and closed down some communities where cases were found.

A worker in a protective suit stands near tents at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site in Beijing. Reuters

As Beijing rolled out three rounds of mass testing this week across a number of districts, it locked down a number of residential compounds, office blocks and a university after infections were found. Some schools, entertainment venues and tourist sites were also shut.

Universal Studios in Beijing announced late on Wednesday it would require visitors to show negative test results before they could enter the theme park, starting on Friday.

On Thursday, it moved most students in the sprawling Chaoyang district to online learning, with exceptions for middle and high school students who are preparing to take crucial exams that could determine their academic futures.

Workers walk along a street after disinfecting amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Beijing on Thursday. AFP

Beijing announced 50 new cases on Thursday, two of them asymptomatic, bringing its total in the latest wave of infections to around 150. Students make up more than 30% of total cases, with clusters linked to six schools and two kindergartens in Chaoyang.

At least three other districts had already moved students online, and officials on Thursday announced rules requiring residents to remain inside two housing compounds in Chaoyang where cases have been detected.

Beijing has moved more swiftly than many Chinese cities to impose restrictions while case numbers remain low and the scale of the outbreak is still manageable.




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