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Beijing Rushes to Contain Omicron Outbreak

Mass testing for the city’s 20 million residents is underway.

Over the weekend, a fresh outbreak of Omicron variant COVID-19 began in China’s capital city of Beijing at the same time as the ongoing lockdown over in Shanghai. Though only 29 positive cases were discovered yesterday, due to China’s ongoing “zero-COVID” policy, they are running tests on the city’s entire populace to track and contain the virus as much as possible, starting in the district of Chaoyang.

“The outbreak in Beijing is coming fast and furious,” said Xu Hejian, a spokesperson for the Beijing municipal government. Hejian added that Beijing’s pandemic-battling efforts have “reached a critical moment.”

Following the announcement of mass testing in Chaoyang, the populace began panic-buying supplies and essentials, fearing they would be caught up in a similar mass lockdown as the one in Shanghai. Many supermarkets temporarily extended their business hours as customers completely emptied the shelves of both perishables and nonperishables. While many residents are concerned of shortages, some are confident that cities closer to the capital are more prepared for long-term lockdown than Shanghai was.

“My daughter works in a government department and they have prepared very well, such as beds, quilts, and articles for women’s use. Even if we need to go into lockdown, we will be fine,” 86-year-old Beijing resident Chen Shengzhen told USA Today.

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