Fears of imposing strict lockdowns in Beijing sent people flocking to buy goods, as queues formed in a large area of the city center for checks ordered by Chinese authorities.
China seeks to contain a wave of infections in Shanghai, its largest city, which has been under a total isolation measure for weeks, and registered 51 deaths from the virus on Monday.
The city of 25 million people is going to great lengths to provide fresh food to people isolated at home, while patients have reported difficulties accessing medical care unrelated to Covid. And the increase in cases of infection in the capital raised fears of similar isolation measures.
In Chaoyang, the largest area in central Beijing with a population of about 3.5 million people, orders were issued to conduct a large-scale screening campaign for city residents and residents starting Monday. the people who come to work in it. This area includes the headquarters of many multinational companies and embassies.
Long queues formed outside shopping malls and in front of office complexes on Monday for virus tests.
“If a case is detected, this area may be affected,” said Yao Liming, a 25-year-old office worker, while undergoing an examination in Chaoyang with a group of colleagues.
The campaign of tests and warnings of a “grim” virus-related situation in the city unleashed a rush to Beijing’s supermarkets on Sunday as citizens rushed to stock up on essential goods.
People were seen pushing shopping carts full of food while many grocery apps were out of stock, AFP found on Sunday, especially delivery apps in Chaoyang district.
Many gyms and sports clubs have canceled classes or closed their doors.
Beijing has also imposed severe restrictions on entering the city, requiring travelers to submit a negative test result within 48 hours.
The entry of people who have traveled to cities or cantons that have registered contagion for at least the last two weeks is prohibited.
Officials say these measures have helped China avoid a major public health disaster similar to what has been seen in other parts of the world during the Covid crisis. However, this strategy has weighed heavily on business activities and the morale of the population.