Beijing presses on with mass COVID testing as locked-down Shanghai seethes

Other News Materials 27 April 2022 08:39 (UTC +04:00)
Beijing presses on with mass COVID testing as locked-down Shanghai seethes

The second round of COVID-19 testing in Beijing's largest district began on Wednesday, with this week's campaign to screen most of the Chinese capital's 22 million residents so far detecting less than three dozen new infections a day, Trend reports citing Reuters.

Beijing residents have rushed to stock up on food and other supplies as the city races to stop a nascent outbreak and avert a city-wide lockdown like that which has paralysed Shanghai for the past month, leaving some in the Chinese commercial hub of 25 million venting extreme frustration.

Authorities in the capital have so far focused on early mass testing, whereas Shanghai waited for a about a month before launching a city-wide screening campaign.

In Beijing, Shi Wei, 53, a retiree, said he was encouraged by the city's low caseload so far, but nervous.

"These past two days every time I go to the supermarket there are lots of people, so I just turn around and leave, as I feel slightly unsafe," he said. "I can understand the panic, given what happened in Shanghai."

Beijing screened the more than 3.5 million residents of its Chaoyang district on Monday, all of whom are due for new tests on Wednesday. On Tuesday, 16 million from other districts were also screened and will be re-tested on Thursday.

It was unclear what percentage of those tests led to the detection Beijing's 31 new COVID cases on Tuesday, compared with the previous day's 33. No deaths have been recorded so far.