Beijing facing ‘most severe Covid test yet’

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The new fatalities reported since November has increased the country’s overall Covid-19 death toll to 5,229…reports Asian Lite News

Authorities in Beijing have said that the Chinese capital is facing the “most severe Covid test yet” after three new deaths were reported in six months, plunging parts of the Chinese capital into a new lockdown, the media reported.

The new fatalities reported since November has increased the country’s overall Covid-19 death toll to 5,229, reports the BBC.

The lockdown has been imposed in Beijing’s Haidian and Chaoyang districts, with shops, schools and restaurants closed.

Under new measures, those travelling to the capital will also have to do tests for the first three days of their visit, and stay inside until they are given the all-clear, said the BBC report.

As of Monday afternoon, Beijing reported 316 new Covid cases which increased China total caseload since the pandemic broke out in early 2020 to 290,787.

The development comes as rare protests have erupted across China against the government’s zero-Covid policy which puts millions under lock down and citizens who have tested positive for the virus are forcibly quarantined.

Addressing a press conference on November 21, Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing CDC, said that China is at the ‘most critical and toughest moment’ of fighting coronavirus. Xiaofeng called on people to protect the elderly at home and families suffering from underlying diseases.

According to China’s National Health Commission, Beijing reported more than 2400 cases from Friday to 3 pm (local time) on Monday. The cases included more than 500 infections identified outside of quarantine zones through community-level test screening.

Liu Xiaofeng stated that the Omicron BF.7 variant imported from a trading town outside Beijing is the main strain in the current outbreak of COVID-19, as per The Global Times report.

Xiaofeng stressed that the variant has resulted in cluster infections in nursing homes, construction sites and schools as the cases of COVID-19 were particularly reported in Chaoyang, Changping, Haidian, Fengtai and Tongzhou.

China National Health Commission reported the death of three people after contracting COVID-19. According to China National Commission, a woman aged 91 years and a man aged 88 years both diagnosed with COVID-19 but with severe underlying diseases died at Beijing Ditan Hospital on Sunday.

The death of two people came after an 87-year-old man died on Saturday of sepsis caused by a serious lung infection, as per the Global Times report. As of Tuesday, people need to undergo COVID-19 testing for three consecutive days after they arrive in Beijing.

The authorities have urged people who arrive in Beijing to stay at home before their negative test results are announced. As daily COVID-19 cases screened at the community level continue to rise in Beijing, local officials held an anti-epidemic briefing on Sunday.

Beijing officials called for more scientific and precise measures to reduce COVID-19 cases at the earliest to protect people’s health and minimise effects on economic development. According to officials, the Chaoyang district was a top priority for them where they noted that anti-epidemic measures need to be strictly implemented.

Notably, China has been adhering to strict measures since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese government has been imposing lockdowns, and travel restrictions and conducting mass testing of people to control the spread of the virus.

According to the National Health Commission, as of November 22, 290,787 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in China. 5,231 people have died due to coronavirus in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps on the Chinese mainland. Moreover, 262,260 patients had been cured and discharged from the hospital. (IANS/ANI)

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