BEIJING (AP) — Residents of a Beijing district of some 2 million people were ordered on Sunday to undergo mass coronavirus testing following a spate of infections as China tightened lockdowns. disease checks before the Winter Olympics.
The government has told residents of areas of the Chinese capital deemed to be at high risk of infection not to leave the city after 25 cases were found in Fengtai district and 14 elsewhere.
The ruling Communist Party is stepping up enforcement of its “zero tolerance” strategy of isolating every infected person as Beijing prepares to open the Winter Games on February 4 under heavy virus checks.
On Sunday, residents of Fengtai lined the snowy sidewalks in freezing weather for the tests.
The Chinese capital must “take the most resolute, decisive and strict measures to block the chain of transmission of the epidemic,” city government spokesman Xu Hejian told a news conference.
“In principle, personnel in risk areas should not leave Beijing,” Xu said.
Nationwide, 56 new confirmed infections were reported in the 24 hours to midnight Saturday. The National Health Commission said 37 people were believed to have been acquired overseas.
China has reported 4,636 deaths out of 105,603 confirmed cases and seven suspected cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Olympics are subject to strict controls designed to isolate athletes, journalists and officials from the outside world. Athletes must be vaccinated or subject to quarantine after arriving in China.
Other outbreaks prompted the government to impose travel bans on the major cities of Xi’an and Tianjin.
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