Beijing locks down some areas as COVID-19 cases mount

BEIJING (AP) — China’s capital, Beijing, started mass testing of greater than 3 million folks on Monday and restricted residents in a single a part of the town to their compounds, sparking worries of a wider Shanghai-style lockdown.

While solely 70 cases have been discovered to date within the metropolis of greater than 21 million since a brand new outbreak surfaced Friday, authorities have rolled out strict measures underneath China’s “zero-COVID” method to attempt to stop an extra unfold of the virus.

Some residents labored from residence and plenty of stocked up on meals as a safeguard towards the chance that they may very well 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 additionally began lockdowns as the omicron variant spreads throughout the huge nation.

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

Long strains shaped in supermarkets in central Beijing. Shoppers snapped up rice, noodles, greens and different meals objects, whereas retailer employees rapidly restocked some empty cabinets. State media issued stories saying provides remained plentiful regardless of the shopping for surge.

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

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

The metropolis has ordered mass testing throughout sprawling Chaoyang district, the place 46 of the cases have been discovered. The 3.5 million residents of Chaoyang, as properly as 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 at residential complexes and workplace buildings across the district.

“I feel Beijing ought to be positive,” mentioned Gao Haiyang as he waited on line for a COVID-19 check. “Based on the earlier response made by my group, if there’s any emergency, I feel provide might be assured. Plus there have been classes we realized from different cities. I feel we will make good preparations.”

Shanghai has buckled underneath 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 earn a living from home and keep of their residential compounds. It wasn’t a complete lockdown — shops continued to function — however cinemas, karaoke bars and different leisure venues have been ordered closed.

Elsewhere, the 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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Associated Press video producer Olivia Zhang and researcher Yu Bing contributed to this report.

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