Beijing Under Semi-Lockdown as New COVID-19 Cases Hit China
Beijing: The coronavirus situation in China has become grim again with the number of COVID-19 cases rising to over 25,000, including more than 500 in Beijing, prompting the city officials to advise millions of residents to stay home this weekend and undergo daily testing.
Beijing wore an eerie look on Saturday with most of its residents staying home after several districts in the city on Friday issued advisories to people, calling for less cross-district personnel flow and avoid unnecessary trips during the weekend.
An official from Chaoyang district, the worst-hit area and also the most populous district in the city, told residents to stay indoors during the weekend.
The sprawling district houses all top government offices, commercial hubs and thousands of residential communities.
The district government of Chaoyang also advised residents not to leave the area unless necessary, and if they do, they must provide negative nucleic acid test results taken within 48 hours, official media here reported on Saturday.
After Chaoyang, other districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Tongzhou, Yanqing, Changping, Shunyi and Haidian uploaded letters on their official media accounts, urging people to reduce cross-district personnel flow and avoid unnecessary trips.
Some major shopping malls across the city have also suspended dining-in services following the current epidemic prevention and control measures.
Beijing on Friday reported 515 COVID-19 cases while the Chinese mainland recorded 25,000 cases, a very high by Chinese standards, according to official data.
The periodic spikes in coronavirus cases in almost all the cities in China for the past two years which led to lockdowns and disrupted people’s lives, supply chains and the economy, is wearing down people.
There are reports of sporadic public protests in the industrial city of Guangzhou.
Early this month, China modified its zero-COVID policy by doing away with its much-criticised "circuit breaker" policy of suspending international flights if any positive COVID-19 cases were detected on arrival and cut the quarantine time for international travelers from 10 to eight days.
With continued spikes in the virus, observers doubt whether China will further modify its COVID-19 policy to gradually open up to the world to revive its economy.
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