Thousands of Kovid-negative Beijing residents were evacuated overnight due to a handful of infections, as the capital began taking more extreme control measures, like the virus-infected Shanghai.
Beijing has been battling its worst outbreak since the epidemic began. The Omicron variant has infected more than 1,300 since the end of April, with the city’s main restaurants, schools and tourist attractions closed indefinitely.
China’s strategy for achieving zero coveted cases includes strict border closures, lengthy quarantines, mass tests and rapid, targeted lockdowns.
More than 13,000 residents of the lock-down Nanjinuan residential compound in southeastern Beijing were evacuated to the Quarantine Hotel on Friday night due to 26 new infections discovered in recent days, according to an official announcement shared widely in photos and social media.
“Experts have determined that all Nanjinuan residents will go through a centralized quarantine for seven days from midnight on May 21,” Chawang district authorities said Friday.
“Please cooperate, otherwise you will bear the legal consequences.”
Social media photos showed hundreds of residents standing in line at a coach parked outside the compound in the dark with luggage.
“Some of us have been locked down for 28 days since April 23, and we’ve all tested negative,” wrote a resident on Weibo, like Twitter.
“I have many neighbors, old or young.”
“The relocation really makes us feel like we’re in a war scene,” resident and real estate blogger Liu Guangyu posted on Weibo on Saturday morning.
Liu told AFP they had been notified of the move half a day earlier, but said he was satisfied with the hotel.
According to a screenshot shared on Weibo, residents were asked to pack their clothes and essentials and their homes would be disinfected later.
Last month, thousands of Kovid-negative Shanghai residents were housed in makeshift quarantine centers hundreds of kilometers away as the 25 million metropolitan area doubled in its efforts to stem the spread of the virus.
Weibo users have expressed widespread concern that Beijing authorities are adopting a similar approach to Shanghai, where residents have been subjected to a month-long lockdown that has denied many people adequate access to food and medical care.
The Weibo hashtag “All residents of the Nanjinuan compound were dragged to quarantine” was blocked by Saturday morning.
“Just like in Shanghai, the first step is to cut off water and electricity, then turn on the keys … then disinfect the houses. Electrical appliances, wooden furniture, clothes, food – these are all done,” read a comment.
The Chawang District Disease Control Authority told AFP that it did not disclose the information externally and relied on a convincing press conference from the Beijing authorities.
Beijing authorities on Saturday extended work from a home guide in another district, a day after most public bus and subway services were shut down.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)