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COVID-19: Beijing residents queue for tests as fears of lockdown grow

Beijing on Tuesday launched mass COVID-19 testing for nearly all its 21 million residents, as fears grew that the Chinese capital may be placed under a strict lockdown like Shanghai.

Under its zero-Covid policy, China has used lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions to stamp out infections. Its biggest city, Shanghai, has been almost entirely locked down for weeks, and the mass testing order in Beijing has sparked worries the capital will be placed under similar restrictions.

Beijing to test 20 million for COVID as lockdown jitters grow https://t.co/12onggYGkK pic.twitter.com/rcfva7HIIT

— Reuters (@Reuters) April 26, 2022

The city’s authorities have ordered residents of the 12 central districts home to most of its population to undergo three rounds of testing after dozens of infections were found in recent days.

The capital’s most populous district, Chaoyang, was the first to order mass testing from Monday, with people waiting in long lines to be swabbed by health workers in protective gear.

The testing order for the district sparked panic buying on Sunday night, with residents lining up at supermarkets with full carts as state media tried to reassure the public there were plentiful supplies.

Eleven more districts began testing on Tuesday.

Beijing

Across the whole city, millions of residents lining up
to do daily mandatory Covid test
to get negative PCR test results
to keep their movement licenses-QR code vaccine passports valid (green💚) to be able to work and buy groceries tomorrow.https://t.co/VAlup81Lme pic.twitter.com/JPV39pDJ79

— Songpinganq (@songpinganq) April 24, 2022

The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 1,908 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 15,889 local asymptomatic cases, said the National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report on Tuesday.


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