Monday, March 27, 2023

Beijing reopens restaurants as new COVID-19 cases drop

BEIJING ( Associated Press) — Most diners returned to Beijing on Monday for the first time in more than a month, as authorities declared a small number of COVID-19 cases in the capital under China’s strict “zero-COVID-19″ lockdown. Epidemic restrictions were further eased after the outbreak largely ended. ” Approach.

Museums, cinemas and gyms were allowed to operate up to 75% capacity and delivery drivers could once again bring packages to the customer’s doorstep, rather than having to haul them to the entrance of apartment complexes.

A return to normalcy was enforced almost everywhere in Beijing except in one district and another, where the outbreak persisted. Schools, which had earlier partially reopened, will open fully on June 13, followed by kindergartens on June 20.

Authorities conducted several rounds of mass testing and closed buildings and campuses when infections were detected to seal an outbreak that infected nearly 1,800 people in six weeks in the city of 22 million. The number of new cases came down to six on Sunday.

The ruling Communist Party is committed to a “zero-Covid” strategy that would fix economic costs and inconveniences to millions, even as many other countries adopt a more relaxed approach as vaccination rates rise. and treatments become more widely available.

In Shanghai, a population of 25 million people endured a citywide lockdown, confined to their apartments or neighborhoods for two months. The city reopened last week, but restaurants are closed except for delivery and takeout. A neighborhood conducted more mass testing on Monday after new cases were found in a residential complex, which has now been closed for 14 days.

In both Beijing and Shanghai, anyone entering the subway or office building, shopping mall or other public place must show a negative test result within the past 72 hours. People queued up at testing stations set up around cities to meet the requirement.

All ferries in Shanghai, which is divided by the Huangpu River, resumed normal operations on Monday. But the organizers have postponed the Shanghai International Film Festival to be held this month till next year.

Elsewhere, the government responded to outbreaks in China’s Inner Mongolia region, where 39 new cases were reported on Sunday, and the northeastern city of Dandong, which has reported nearly 130 cases in the past two weeks. Dandong is on the border with North Korea, which first acknowledged the outbreak last month.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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