Not to mention quarantine, Beijing toughens measures to combat Covid-19

Equipe de prevenção e controle de epidemias usando roupas de proteção montam guarda na entrada de um bairro residencial fechado devido a casos de Covid-19 no distrito de Changping, em Pequim , China.

Epidemic prevention and control team wearing protective clothing stand guard on the entrance of a residential neighborhood closed due to cases of Covid-19 in Changping District, Beijing, China.| Photo: EFE/EPA/STRINGER

On the eve of the start of the long Labor Day holiday, which is usually the busiest in the country, the Chinese authorities announced that measures to control Covid-19 in Beijing will be reinforced. Among these measures are the requirement of negative tests so that the Chinese can have access to various public places.

With the decision, the volume of Chinese displacements within their own country should be drastically reduced. Many people must remain at home during the country’s latest outbreak of the disease, the most serious since the coronavirus was identified, in 2019. Despite avoiding talking about quarantine and lockdowns, the central government of Beijing will restrict access to schools, government buildings and sports venues after the end of the holiday, next Thursday (5).

To gain access to these locations, the Chinese will need to present negative tests taken up to seven days before. If the intention was to enter hospitals or places where there may be large agglomerations, the deadline for carrying out negative tests falls to 19 hours. Restrictions also apply to public transport and to the most visited tourist spots by Chinese during the holiday.

Several districts of Beijing were targeted by the “Covid Zero” policy by government health officials. Shopping malls and beauty salons were even closed because they were considered “risk areas” – these are places where people who later tested positive for the disease passed through. One of these districts is Chaoyang, where new cases of the disease have been recorded 123 since last weekend.

Actions are also being reinforced in other cities in the country. Large-scale testing and lockdowns are being applied in just over 04 cities – the financial center of Shanghai is one of them. These locations are undergoing total or partial quarantines, which have already affected the lives of more than 340 million Chinese.

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