Beijing added tightened restrictions on millions of residents following a surge of COVID-19 cases, Chinese state-run media reported Thursday. Seeking to quarantine Beijing’s eastern Chaoyang prefecture from the rest of China’s capital, the city’s municipal government suspended service for dozens of bus lines and subway stations around the afflicted district. The local government also ordered Chaoyang’s 3.5 million residents to work from home beginning Thursday.
Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control announced the city’s current outbreak, which began on April 22, has resulted in 505 confirmed COVID-19 cases, surpassing the total cases stemming from the city’s 2020 Xinfadi wet market outbreak.
While Chaoyang is the epicenter of the current outbreak with over 200 cases, Fangshan, a district in Beijing’s southwest quadrant, also has confirmed 130 cases, the report notes. Beijing’s new lockdown restrictions have residents concerned about a Shanghai-style city-wide lockdown.
“What happened in Shanghai was a cautionary tale,” Yang Hui, a Beijing resident, said. “I’m so tired of Covid and the so-called ‘zero COVID’ strategy.”
Shanghai, China’s financial hub and home to nearly 29 million residents implemented a city-wide lockdown on April 5 in compliance with Xi Jinping’s signature zero-COVID policy. The city’s lockdown resulted in food shortages and a lack of basic necessities, leading to protests, public outrage, and looting in some cases. Despite Xi’s zero-COVID policy, Shanghai has still reported over 500,000 Omicron cases since