After Cases Surface, China Orders Mass COVID Testing

2M in Beijing district begin lining up, while people in high-risk areas can't leave city as Games near
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2022 2:55 PM CST
After Cases Surface, China Orders Mass Virus Testing
Volunteers chat Sunday at an information booth for Beijing Winter Olympics Games at Qianmen Street, a popular tourist spot.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

People in a Beijing district with some 2 million residents were ordered Sunday to undergo mass coronavirus testing following a series of infections as China tightened anti-disease controls ahead of the Winter Olympics. The government told people in areas of the Chinese capital deemed at high risk for infection not to leave the city after 25 cases were found in the Fengtai district and 14 elsewhere, the AP reports. The Communist Party is stepping up enforcement of its "zero tolerance" strategy aimed at isolating every infected person as Beijing prepares to open the Winter Games on Feb. 4 under intensive anti-virus controls.

On Sunday, Fengtai residents lined up on snow-covered sidewalks in freezing weather for testing. The Chinese capital must "take the most resolute, decisive and strict measures to block the transmission chain of the epidemic," a city government spokesman, Xu Hejian, told a news conference. "In principle, personnel in risk areas shall not leave Beijing," Xu said. Nationwide, 56 new confirmed infections were reported in the 24 hours through midnight Saturday. The National Health Commission said 37 were believed to have been acquired abroad.

The Olympics are being held under strict controls that are meant to isolate athletes, reporters and officials from the outside world. Athletes are required to be vaccinated or undergo a quarantine after arriving in China. Other outbreaks prompted the government to impose travel bans on the major cities of Xi’an and Tianjin. China has reported 4,636 deaths out of 105,603 confirmed cases and seven suspected cases since the pandemic began.

(Read more 2022 Beijing Olympics stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X