China’s capital Beijing began testing millions of residents and closed residential and commercial districts on Monday amid a new COVID-19 outbreak.
While only more than 40 cases have been found in the city of more than 21 million since the outbreak emerged on Friday, authorities have implemented extreme measures to prevent further spread of the virus.
Residents were staying home and stocking up on food as a safeguard against the possibility that they might be confined indoors, as has happened in several cities, including the financial hub of Shanghai.
The central city Anyang, along with Dandong on the North Korean border, have also announced lockdowns as the omicron variant spreads across the vast country.
China’s borders remain largely closed as its hardline response and the economic impact of the pandemic continue to grow.