Beijing authorities have extended work guidelines from home to prevent a persistent COVID-19 outbreak for many of its 22 million residents, while Shanghai has set up more tests and controls to maintain its hard-won ‘zero COVID’ status after a two-month lockdown. .
On Monday, the Chinese capital, May 22, identified 99 new cases, up from 61 the previous day – the largest daily number ever during a one-month-old outbreak that saw dozens of new infections every day in a row.
In Shanghai, on May 22, less than 600 cases were reported daily, without any quarantine, as this has been the case for most of the past week.
Analysts at Gavekal Dragonomics estimated last week that less than 5% of China’s cities are reporting infections, compared to a quarter of the end of March, due to a Kovid outbreak that stunned the world’s number one growth. 2 Economy. However, warnings and concerns remain high in Shanghai and the capital.
Although there are no new announcements to close areas in Beijing, five of the city’s 16 districts have advised residents to work from home and avoid gatherings. Those who need to go to work should have a negative result of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours and should not deviate from their home-to-work journey.
“The city’s epidemic prevention and control is at a critical juncture,” Beijing’s Tongzhou district posted on its WeChat account late Sunday, urging residents working in five other districts to do their work this week.
“One step further, victory is in sight. One step back, and the previous effort will be wasted.”
Beijing has already reduced public transport, closed some shopping malls and other stores and venues, and closed buildings where new cases have been identified.
In a large residential compound that is not subject to segregation orders, shelves have been set up for delivery at the entrance, raising concerns about preparations for strict control of movement, according to residents.
Sanctions in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere in China have caused significant economic damage and disrupted global supply chains and international trade.
The virus, which was first discovered in the city of Wuhan in late 2019, has also proved difficult to defeat with its highly contagious omikron variant, which is the complete opposite of resuming normal life anywhere else in the world.
“We have been hit hard,” said Sun, owner of a convenience store in Beijing, which allows the store to operate only during the day instead of its usual 24/7 hours.
“We can stay open all the time, even during the outbreak.”
In Shanghai, which on Sunday reopened more than 250 bus routes and a small portion of its extensive subway system, many cities and districts have announced more mass tests for the coming days and told residents not to leave their compounds.
The 25 million shopping mall allowed more people to leave their homes for a short time last week, but it usually plans to maintain most restrictions this month before lifting its two-month lockdown from June 1.
However, while more people are being allowed out, several residents in different parts of Shanghai say there has been talk of new infections in their neighborhoods that require new barriers to movement.
A Hong Kong district resident, who has not reported a new community-level case since May 7, said he was told last week not to leave his flat, having previously been allowed into his compound.
Hong Kong was among the six districts that in recent days have announced tougher sanctions to “consolidate” the results of their efforts.
But such measures frighten some people that the virus is coming back.
The latest issue of Shanghai reads the top comment of a post by state agency Xinhua on Weibo posts like China’s Twitter: “Couldn’t that be right, zero covid case at the community level? There was a new case in our compound yesterday.”
Asked to comment, the Shanghai government said all cases received in recent days were “sealed” in high-risk areas or quarantine centers and would be announced on official channels in case of any community infection.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)