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Beijing imposes strict COVID-19 restrictions amid holiday week

Published May 02, 2022 9:16 am

In a major escalation of COVID-19 restrictions amid a surge in Omicron variant cases, Beijing has banned all restaurant dining, shut down Universal Studios and ordered residents to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter public venues, a media report said.

The restrictions have come as a five-day holiday on the occasion of International Labour Day got underway in the city on April 30, CNN reported. After several rounds of mass testing, locking down dozens of residential communities and suspending schools, Beijing further tightened the restrictions at the beginning of the holiday, the report said.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise at an alarming rate, the capital Beijing reported 51 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and four asymptomatic cases on Sunday, local media reported citing authorities as saying.

Many Beijing residents have rushed to stock up on food and daily necessities over the past week, fearing a Shanghai-style lockdown could cause shortages, CNN reported.

There is little holiday spirit this year in China, as the government doubles down on its zero-COVID policy to fight the country's worst outbreak since Wuhan, the report said.

Many local governments have ordered residents not to leave their cities unless absolutely necessary and have imposed lengthy quarantine requirements for people coming from areas where COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai, officials said May 1 that community transmission in the city had been "effectively controlled," following more than a month of stringent lockdown that confined most of its 25 million residents to their homes, the report said.

Shanghai reported 7,872 local cases May 2, continuing a general downward trend since April 13, officials said at a news conference, the report said, adding, the city also reported 38 new deaths, bringing the total death toll of the current outbreak to 422. (ANI)