Hoping to avoid becoming Wuhan 2.0, Beijing has instituted some lockdown measures following a Covid-19 outbreak at the city’s largest wholesale food market which has led to more than 100 confirmed locally transmitted coronavirus cases.
On Tuesday night, city officials raised Beijing’s alert level from Level 3 to Level 2 (the highest being Level 1) and announced some measures aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus, including:
- All residents living in communities that have been deemed medium or high risk, because of their proximity to the Xinfadi market, are banned from leaving Beijing. There are at least 27 neighborhoods in Beijing that have been designated medium risk.
- Those communities themselves will be locked down and residents will be tested for the virus.
- All schools have been shut down once again.
- Recreational venues have also been closed across the city and parks limited to no more than 30 percent capacity.
- Non-essential travel for other Beijing residents has been strongly discouraged with proof of a recent negative nucleic acid test required for those heading out of the city.
- All outbound taxi and ride-hailing services have been suspended. Some long-distance buses have also been halted.
- Roads, factories, and offices remain open for the time being.
The measures are reminiscent of those first employed by the city of Wuhan back in January at the beginning of the initial coronavirus outbreak.
Hopefully, with the benefit of experience and hindsight, this outbreak can be more effectively controlled. Officials in Beijing say that they have conducted nucleic acid tests on around 356,000 people since June 13. 137 new infections have been reported in that time.