Beijing authorities said that more than 20 million people living in the city will undergo COVID-19 tests as part of China’s new virus containment strategy. A looming Shanghai-style lockdown is also worrying residents, who scramble to stock food at their homes.
The national capital has registered 70 cases of COVID-19 so far since the new breakout was reported on Friday, one section of the city and several buildings have already been sealed to contain the spread.
Authorities also started mass testing people in one of Beijing’s 16 districts where most of the new cases have been found, according to reports from Associated Press.
Similar to what was seen in Shanghai, residents of Beijing were seen flocking to supermarkets to stock up on food and other essential resources as they anticipated a lockdown. Some also worked from home to protect themselves from infection.
While Chinese media reports suggest that the supply of food and other resources remains plentiful, residents of Beijing were seen bagging vegetables, noodles, rice and other staples from supermarkets.
Beijing health officials said 29 new cases had been identified in the 24 hours through 4 PM Monday, raising the total to 70 since Friday.
The city has ordered mass testing across the sprawling Chaoyang district, where 46 of the cases have been found. The 3.5 million residents of Chaoyang, as well as people who work in the district, need to be tested on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, according to reports from Associated Press.
Beijing locked down residents in an area about 2 by 3 kilometers, telling them to work from home and stay in their residential compounds. It wasn’t a total lockdown but cinemas, karaoke bars and other entertainment venues were ordered closed.