Beijing Launches Mass Testing After Four Covid Cases Found

Story Highlights
  • Beijing starts new mass testing after finding 4 new covid cases.
  • Several flights have been grounded and schools have been closed.
  • The outbreak was traced due to tourists travelling to Xi’an Gansu.

China: Following the discovery of 4 new instances of Covid-19 in a suburban region on Friday, Beijing expects to test thousands of individuals, as a new outbreak causes school closures and travel cancellations across the country. With stringent border restrictions, extended quarantines, and selective shutdowns, China has maintained a firm zero-Covid stance. However, the world’s most populated country is currently battling hundreds of illnesses in various provinces.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, scenic locations and schools have been closed, and a series of stay-at-home orders have been issued in the impacted housing complexes. The outbreak began with an elderly couple who travelled from Shanghai to Xi’an, Gansu Province, and Inner Mongolia as part of a group of domestic tourists. Hundreds of  more instances have been linked to his travels since then, with tight contacts in at least five provinces and regions, including sparsely inhabited Inner Mongolia and Beijing’s capital. 

On Monday, the disease-stricken city of Erenhot in Inner Mongolia barred all travel in and out of the city and ordered locals to stay at home, while an epidemic in Ejin County prompted authorities earlier this week. On Wednesday, the state tabloid Global Times warned that the Inner Mongolia cases might exacerbate supply chain bottlenecks and stymie coal supplies from Mongolia’s neighbour. On Thursday, China registered 28 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, 15 more than the day before, according to a statement released by the National Health Commission on Friday.

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