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Beijing Takes Swift Action to Handle Omicron Outbreak

City-wide testing initiated for Beijing’s 20 million inhabitants.

Beijing faced a new wave of infections from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 during the weekend, coinciding with the ongoing lockdown in Shanghai. Despite confirming only 29 positive cases recently, in line with China’s strict “zero-COVID” approach, authorities are conducting mass testing for the entire population of Beijing to monitor and control the spread of the virus. The testing began in the Chaoyang district.

Indications suggest a rapid spread of the outbreak in Beijing, with Xu Hejian, a spokesperson for the Beijing municipal government, acknowledging that efforts to combat the pandemic have reached a critical phase.

In response to the mass testing announcement in Chaoyang, residents rushed to stock up on supplies, fearing a potential widespread lockdown similar to the one in Shanghai. This led to a surge in demand at supermarkets, prompting some stores to extend their operating hours to meet the heightened consumer needs. While concerns about shortages exist, certain residents believe that cities near the capital are better equipped to handle an extended lockdown compared to Shanghai.

Regarding preparations for a potential lockdown, 86-year-old Beijing resident Chen Shengzhen expressed confidence, stating, “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,” as reported by USA Today.

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