Beijing to mass-test most of city as COVID-19 cases mount

Virus Outbreak China
Posted at 1:12 PM, Apr 25, 2022

Beijing authorities have announced they will conduct mass testing of most of the city's 21 million people as a new COVID-19 outbreak sparks worries among residents of a Shanghai-style lockdown.

So far, 70 cases have been found in the Chinese capital since the outbreak surfaced Friday. Some residents are working from home and stocking up on food as a safeguard against the possibility that they could be confined to their homes, as has happened in multiple cities including the financial hub of Shanghai.

Shanghai reported 51 deaths in the latest 24-hour period, topping 100 deaths from the ongoing outbreak. The country's borders remain largely closed as the economic impact from China's hard-line response to the pandemic continues to grow.

Meanwhile, volunteers and workers in Shanghai have erected metal barriers in multiple districts to block off small streets and entrances to apartment complexes as China hardens its strict “zero-COVID” approach in its largest city.

On social media, people posted videos of the new barriers with some expressing anger over the measures. In one video, residents broke down the mesh fence barricade. Barriers have been put up in several neighborhoods in Shanghai's financial district. Buildings where cases have been found sealed up their main entrances, with a small opening for pandemic prevention workers to pass through.

China reported 21,796 new infections on Sunday, most of them asymptomatic cases in Shanghai.