Beijing districts placed under lockdown as COVID cases mount

Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
Residents wearing masks line up for mass COVID testing in Chaoyang District on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

China's capital Beijing began testing millions of residents and shutting down residential and business districts Monday amid a new outbreak of COVID-19.

While only 70 cases have been found so far in the city of more than 21 million since the outbreak surfaced Friday, authorities have implemented extreme measures to prevent a further spread of the virus.

Residents were staying home and stocking up on food as a safeguard against the possibility that they could be confined indoors, as has happened in multiple cities including the financial hub of Shanghai.

Shanghai, which has been locked down for more than two weeks, reported more than 19,000 new infections and 51 deaths in the latest 24-hour period, pushing its death toll from the ongoing outbreak to well over 100.

Long lines formed in supermarkets in central Beijing. Shoppers snapped up rice, noodles, vegetables and other food items, while store workers hastily restocked some empty shelves. State media issued reports saying supplies remained plentiful in Beijing despite the buying surge.

Shoppers appeared concerned but not yet panicked. One woman, carrying two bags of vegetables, eggs and frozen dumplings, said she is buying a little more than usual. A man said he isn't worried but is just being cautious since he has a 2-year-old daughter.

Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
Residents wearing masks line up for mass COVID testing in Chaoyang District on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Beijing health officials said 29 more cases had been identified in the 24 hours through 4 p.m. Monday, raising the total to 70 since Friday.

The city has ordered mass testing across sprawling Chaoyang district, where 46 of the cases have been found. The more then 3 million residents of Chaoyang, as well as people who work in the district, need to be tested on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Testing sites were set up overnight and in the early morning at residential complexes and office buildings around Chaoyang district.

"I think Beijing should be fine," said Gao Haiyang as he waited on line for a COVID-19 test. "Based on previous response made by my community, if there's any emergency, I think supply can be guaranteed. Plus there were lessons we learned from other cities. I think we can make good preparations."

  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    An elderly woman wearing mask waits at a bus-stop in Chaoyang District on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Workers wearing masks line up for mass COVID testing in Chaoyang District on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks line up to enter a supermarket on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks line up for mass COVID testing in Chaoyang District on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing masks shop at a supermarket in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Monday, April 25, 2022. Mass testing started Monday in Chaoyang district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    A man wearing face mask ride an electric scooter past masked residents who line up to get a throat swab sample taken at a coronavirus test site set up near the residential and commercial office complex at the central business district, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents wearing face masks line up to get a throat swab during a mass coronavirus testing near the residential and commercial office complex at the central business district, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Cyclists pass by residents and office workers who line up on a road for mass coronavirus testing near the residential and commercial office complex at the central business district, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong
  • Beijing districts placed under lockdown as cases mount
    Residents and office workers wearing face masks line up for mass coronavirus testing outside a commercial office complex in Chaoyang district, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Beijing. Mass testing started Monday in the district, home to more than 3 million people in the Chinese capital, following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong

The central city of Anyang, along with Dandong on the border with North Korea, also announced lockdowns as the omicron variant spreads across the vast country.

China's borders remain largely closed as its hardline response and the pandemic's economic impact continue to grow.


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