Beijing shuts down metro stations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nation World News

China’s capital on Wednesday closed 60 metro stations, more than 10 percent of its vast system, as an additional measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

Forty stations were closed in the morning, and 20 more were added in the afternoon. The Beijing metro authority said in a brief message that mostly only downtown stations were being closed as part of epidemic control measures. No date was given for the resumption of the service.

Beijing is on high alert for the spread of COVID-19, with restaurants and bars limited to takeout, gyms closed and classes suspended indefinitely. Major tourist destinations in the city, including the Forbidden City and Beijing Zoo, have closed their indoor exhibition halls and are operating only at partial capacity.

Some communities where the cases were discovered have been isolated. People living in “contained” areas have been asked to stay within city limits, with 12 areas considered high-risk and another 35 considered moderate-risk.

City residents undergo three tests throughout the week as authorities try to trace and isolate cases without enforcing the widespread lockdowns seen in Shanghai and elsewhere. It is necessary to obtain a negative test result within the last 48 hours to be admitted to most public places.

Beijing shuts down metro stations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nation World News
A health care worker waits for people to be tested for COVID-19 at a temporary testing site outside a museum in Beijing. (Jade Gao/AFP/Getty Images)

Beijing on Wednesday reported just 51 new cases, of which five are asymptomatic.

The subway closure should have relatively little impact on city life, with China celebrating the Labor Day holiday this week and many commuters in the capital of 21 million already working from home.

empty streets

In a downtown neighborhood classified as high-risk on Wednesday, streets were practically deserted except for a few delivery drivers on scooters and the occasional pedestrian and car.

All businesses were closed except supermarkets and fruit and vegetable shops. Outsiders usually stay away from high-risk areas to avoid the possibility of their presence being recorded on the tracing app installed on almost all mobile phones, creating potential problems for future access to public areas .

Beijing shuts down metro stations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nation World News
A worker strangles a man for COVID-19 during mass testing for the second day in a row in Beijing. (Mark Schiffelbein/The Associated Press)

Touching lightly in Beijing, China overall sticks to its strict “zero-Covid” approach, which restricts travel, tests entire cities and goes to great lengths to try to isolate every infected person. Establishes facilities. Lockdowns begin in buildings and neighborhoods but become citywide if the virus spreads more widely.

It has caused the most disruption in Shanghai, where authorities are gradually easing restrictions that have kept most of the city’s 26 million people in their apartments, housing complexes or immediate neighborhoods for a month and in some cases longer. has been limited.

Shanghai reported another 4,982 cases on Wednesday, 260 of whom were asymptomatic with an additional 16 deaths. It continues a steady decline in China’s largest city, which reported a daily peak of 27,605 new cases on April 13.

The surprisingly low death toll amid an outbreak of more than 400,000 cases in China’s main stock market and largest port city has raised questions about how such deaths occur.

The harsh and widely ridiculed sanctions have led to a shortage of food and medical aid, along with a wide – though potentially temporary – effect on the national economy. Desperate, outraged citizens faced barricades and officers online, shouting out their windows and banging pots and pans in frustration and anger.

Communist officials, who tolerate no dissent, have sought to drive away criticism from the Internet and blamed the protests, including beating cooking equipment, on the movement of unidentified “foreign anti-China forces”.

hospital lineup

As part of the reopening, Shanghai this week began requiring health institutions to fully resume services wherever possible.

At Downtown Huashan Hospital, patients filled the waiting area with lines outside some departments. While the number of patients has dropped by about two-thirds since the most recent wave, their condition tends to be more severe.

Wu Wenyu, Huashan’s head of dermatology, said he was seeing patients who had delayed treatment because of the outbreak, some from cities outside Shanghai.

“For example, a patient suffering [skin disease] Shingles will hurt a lot. Maybe he felt really bad at home, but he couldn’t go to the hospital because of COVID,” Wu said. “But now, many patients are coming to see the doctor.”

Hospital administrators said the hospital was staggering appointments to avoid overcrowding.

In some residential communities, a family member was allowed out twice a week to shop, sometimes even to pick up items for neighbors.

Ling Jiazhao, manager of a supermarket in East Pudong district, said the store was limiting customers to 50 at a time.

“I hope this won’t be overcrowded. Each community has two to four hours to go out shopping, so most members will get it done within an hour,” Ling said.

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