Beijing companies carry out COVID screening to prevent chaos-like chaos in Shanghai 2022-04-28 01:29:00

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  • Beijing will test most of its 22 million residents for COVID this week
  • Beijing has reported more than 160 infections since April 22
  • Beijing ramps up precautions and restrictions to avoid closing Shanghai
  • Shanghai’s focus shifted to vaccinating the elderly

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Beijing closed some public places and beefed up inspections elsewhere on Thursday as most of the Chinese capital’s 22 million residents turned out for more mass testing for COVID-19, aiming to avoid a Shanghai-like lockdown. .

Most of the people in the mall lived one month in stressful home isolation, struggling to make ends meet. But there was hope on the horizon as the number of new cases fell further and officials said their focus was shifting toward boosting vaccinations among the elderly. Read more

Fears were growing, however, that China would get caught up in a whack-a-mole game in the coming months, lifting lockdowns in some places, and imposing others in others, causing severe economic damage and causing discontent among its residents.

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With Beijing launching three rounds of mass testing this week across most of the city, it has closed a number of apartment complexes, offices and a university. Some schools, entertainment venues and tourist sites have also been closed.

Andrew Ward, 36, a Canadian who lives in one of the narrow lanes of courtyard homes known as alleys in Beijing, was sent to a hotel quarantine on Thursday even though he tested negative.

On Wednesday, people in hazmat suits tested the ward at home after it was identified that he had had close contact with a COVID case.

“I’m a little upset, because I’ve spent all that money and time stocking up on food because I’m locked in the house,” said Ward, who works at an international school.

Universal Studios in Beijing said it will require visitors from Friday to show negative test results before they can enter the theme park.

Beijing on Thursday reported 50 new infections on April 27, including some cases that were discovered among nearly 20 million samples obtained in the first round of mass testing. That was up from 34 the day before.

Since April 22, Beijing has detected more than 160 cases, more than half of them in Chaoyang, its most populous district known for its nightlife, shopping malls and embassies.

China’s policy of intolerance to the novel coronavirus has sparked a rare public outcry in an important year for President Xi Jinping, over actions that appear surreal to much of the outside world who has chosen to live with the virus, even as the infection spreads.

Xi is expected to seek a third term of command this fall, and authorities would like to avoid a repeat in the spectator capital of Shanghai, where some residents leaned on their windows to beat pots and pans in anger as people in protective suits installed fences around. their homes.

The Chinese yuan fell to an 18-month low against the US dollar on Thursday as the coronavirus outbreak threatened this year’s economic growth target of around 5.5%.

Stock market (.CSI300)And (.SSEC) It was from two-year lows, however, in anticipation of more stimulus after Premier Li Keqiang pledged to stabilize employment and revive crippled supply chains.

Nomura analysts estimate that 46 cities are currently in full or partial lockdown, affecting 343 million people.

Société Générale estimates that provinces with significant mobility restrictions account for 80% of GDP. Read more

Millions of white and blue-collar workers whose livelihoods depend on unimpeded mobility between cities have faced severe travel restrictions in recent weeks, and the movement of goods has also struggled. Read more

But the impact goes beyond China, whose economy is critical to global supply chains.

GE . industrial conglomerates (GE.N) and 3 pm (MMM.N)chip makers Texas Instruments (TXN.O) and SK Hynix (000660.KS) They warned that China’s COVID restrictions are hurting their revenue. Read more

The lockdown in Beijing, which has little manufacturing and many workers can do their jobs from home, will not be economically harmful. However, the capital was in a race against time to avoid mishaps in Shanghai.

New infections in Shanghai were less than 100 a day at the beginning of March before rising to the thousands by the end of the month in the largest outbreak ever in China, triggering a citywide lockdown and upending the lives of 25 million of its residents.

Most are still confined to their homes, but the city is now preparing for post-lockdown measures.

Provided that the epidemic risks are under control, and with the elderly as the focal point, we are actively promoting COVID-19 vaccines,” said Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Municipal Health Commission.

He said districts are now arranging community vaccination cars and setting up temporary vaccination stations in care homes. Chinese medical experts have justified their tough coronavirus policies by outlining the death risks for thousands of elderly people.

The 47 people reported to have died of COVID-19 in Shanghai on April 27 had an average age of 84.7 years, officials said Thursday.

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Additional reporting by Ryan Wu, David Stanway, Thomas Swain, Eduardo Baptista, Alby Zhang and Yfan Wang; Written by Marius Zaharia. Edit Lincoln Fest

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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