Chinese stock up on supplies as Beijing reports new COVID-19 cases
The spectre of coronavirus lockdowns was creeping into view in China’s capital, forcing people to stock up on supplies.
At least 3.5 million residents of one district have been ordered to undergo regular testing.
The testing regime in the district of Chaoyang would require residents there to go through three rounds of testing at two-day intervals.
The requirement comes as a few dozen cases have been located in Beijing.
There were also reports of general lockdowns in the city’s western districts, with residents told not to leave the delineated area.
Restaurants and other entertainment venues have been shut there.
China has pursued a strict zero-COVID policy since the early days of the pandemic, requiring strict lockdowns and isolation not only for those who test positive for the disease.
The measure also applies to contacts of those infected and contacts of the contacts.
Beijing has remained relatively free from the shutdowns compared with other places like the Shanghai metropolis.
Now, experts warn that the virus might have been creeping through the capital for a week and that more cases are likely to come up.
The question of any kind of lockdown for Beijing would depend on the scope of the virus’ spread there, one expert told the Global Times newspaper.
The city registered 51 deaths related to COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest one-day toll in this outbreak. That came on top of 87 others already reported.
Authorities reported 23,000 new infections nationwide but said most were in Shanghai.
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