Beijing to mass-test most of city as COVID-19 cases mount

BEIJING >> Beijing will conduct mass testing of most of its 21 million individuals, authorities introduced Monday, as a brand new COVID-19 outbreak sparked stockpiling of meals by residents apprehensive about the opportunity of a Shanghai-style lockdown.

The Chinese capital started mass testing individuals in one among its 16 districts the place many of the new instances have been discovered. The metropolis additionally imposed lockdowns on particular person residential buildings and one part of town. Late within the day, well being officers mentioned the testing could be expanded Tuesday to all however 5 outlying districts.

While solely 70 instances have been discovered for the reason that outbreak surfaced Friday, authorities have rolled out strict measures beneath China’s “zero-COVID” method to attempt to forestall an extra unfold of the virus.

Some residents labored from house and lots of stocked up on meals as a safeguard in opposition to the likelihood that they might be confined indoors, as has occurred in a number of cities, together with the monetary hub of Shanghai. The metropolis of Anyang in central China and Dandong on the border with North Korea turned the newest to start out lockdowns because the omicron variant spreads throughout the huge nation of 1.4 billion individuals.

Shanghai, which has been locked down for greater than two weeks, reported greater than 19,000 new infections and 51 deaths within the newest 24-hour interval, pushing its introduced demise toll from the continued outbreak to 138.

Beijing residents snapped up rice, noodles, greens and different meals objects as lengthy strains fashioned in supermarkets and retailer employees swiftly restocked some empty cabinets. State media issued experiences saying provides remained plentiful regardless of the shopping for surge.

Shoppers appeared involved however not but panicked. One lady, carrying two luggage of greens, eggs and frozen dumplings, mentioned she was shopping for a bit greater than standard. A person mentioned he isn’t apprehensive however is simply being cautious since he has a 2-year-old daughter.

Beijing well being officers mentioned 29 new instances had been recognized within the 24 hours by 4 p.m. Monday, elevating the full to 70 since Friday.

The metropolis has ordered mass testing throughout sprawling Chaoyang district, the place 46 of the instances have been discovered. The 3.5 million residents of Chaoyang, in addition to individuals who work within the district, should be examined on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Testing websites have been arrange in a single day and within the early morning in Chaoyang at residential complexes and workplace buildings across the district. Residents and employees lined up on the momentary outside stations for a fast throat swab by a employee in full protecting gear. The testing is free.

“I think Beijing should be fine,” mentioned Gao Haiyang as he waited on line for a COVID-19 check. “Based on the previous response made by my community, if there’s any emergency, I think supply can be guaranteed. Plus there were lessons we learned from other cities. I think we can make good preparations.”

Shanghai has buckled beneath a strict lockdown that has pushed residents to band collectively to get meals delivered by group shopping for. Goods have backed up on the port of Shanghai, affecting provides and manufacturing facility manufacturing and placing a crimp on financial progress.

Beijing locked down residents in an space about 2 by 3 kilometers (1 by 2 miles), telling them to make money working from home and keep of their residential compounds. It wasn’t a complete lockdown however cinemas, karaoke bars and different leisure venues have been ordered closed.

Elsewhere, town additionally shut down some or all buildings in 5 residential compounds, including to others that have been locked down on Sunday.

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