Beijing: The Chinese capital, Beijing, set a record of New COVID cases On Tuesday, as the city tightened a chokehold of restrictions that sent schools online, it closed many restaurants and forced staff to work from home.
More than 28,000 new infections have been reported nationally — approaching a record high since the pandemic began — with Guangdong Province and Chongqing City reporting more than 16,000 and 6,300 cases, respectively, health authorities said.
New cases in Beijing have also jumped in recent days, more than doubling from 621 on Sunday to 1,438 on Tuesday – a record for the city’s epidemic.
The last major economy still welded together with zero-tolerance COVID policy, China Sudden lockdowns and mass testing and quarantines to control the outbreak led to great success in the early stages of the epidemic.
But the latest spiral is testing the limits of that evidence, as officials are anxious to avoid citywide lockdowns such as Shanghai’s two-month ordeal in April, which tarnished the financial hub’s economy and its international image.
Three elderly Beijing residents with underlying diseases died of COVID over the weekend, authorities said, in China’s first coronavirus death since May.
While the capital has so far avoided a blanket lockdown, sudden widespread closures of individual buildings and long queues for PCR testing have been imposed due to the 24-hour negative test requirement for entry to most public spaces.
Over the weekend, authorities advised residents to stay at home and not travel between regions. On Monday, travelers to the city were asked to test more times after their arrival.
Many tourist attractions, gyms and parks have closed, with large-scale events such as concerts cancelled.
China announced the most significant easing of coronavirus measures so far on November 11, describing it as an “improvement” to reduce the economic and social impact of measures to stem the novel coronavirus.
Among the steps was reducing the periods of compulsory quarantine for international arrivals.
Several Chinese cities canceled mass COVID tests last week, but some later reinstated them, underscoring the difficulty of controlling the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.
Shijiazhuang, which previously canceled mass testing, began a partial lockdown on Monday after the number of cases soared, while several districts in Guangzhou, the southern epicenter, were locked down on the same day.
The limited relaxation was not a reflection of the novel coronavirus, which has left China internationally isolated, wreaked havoc on the economy and sparked protests in a country where dissent is routinely crushed.