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China’s capital city Beijing battles Covid with more apartment lockdowns

by News Desk
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As infections continue to surge, Beijing tightens Covid restrictions, prompting community lockdowns.

Jade Gao | Afp | Getty Images

BEIJING — The Chinese capital is nearing a halt as Covid controls spread.

A growing number of apartment complexes in Beijing on Friday barred residents from going out for at least a few days. I have been forced to stop eating at

“This morning, most of our 30+ staff reported that the community has entered a seven-day lockdown,” said James Zimmerman, partner in Perkins Coy’s Beijing office. said on Twitter on FridayHe said the day before the company had to order all employees to work from home.

It was not clear how many people were affected at the city level and the extent to which stay-at-home measures were being enforced. Beijing’s population is about 22 million.

“I keep hearing about someone going into lockdown, and I always have this feeling that I am next,” said Jörg Utke, president of China’s EU Chamber of Commerce on Friday. He estimated that about 40% of people in his office area are locked down.

The Beijing municipal government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

City officials have not announced a city-wide lockdown, warning that it is a “critical” time to bring the virus under control.

Despite the gradual tightening of Covid measures over the past two weeks, local infections have surged. The city of Beijing reported more than 1,800 Covid infections on Thursday, bringing the total for the month to well over 10,000.

Other regions in mainland China are reporting similar spikes in infections. National New Hidaka Over 32,000 on Thursday.

The central government this month sent an encouraging signal to investors about future reopening. shorten quarantine time, Other changes. However, the zero Covid policy itself remained unchanged.

“Initially, [new measures] I came out and felt somewhat positive. But now we know that the interpretations are very different,” said Jennifer Birdsong, member of the Southwest China Branch Committee of the Chengdu-based EU Chamber of Commerce.

“Right now, we are in a situation where bars, restaurants, gyms, everything is closed. [were] We closed last night,” she said, adding that business owners are frustrated by the lack of notice.

She said she found that due to restrictions, some workers had to sleep in the factory and could not deliver food.

plummeting road traffic

Data show that people in Covid-affected areas are moving less, willingly or unwillingly.

According to Baidu traffic data, Beijing has fallen from being the most crowded city in all of China to 74th place.

Metro ridership in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing has plunged nearly 99% from a year ago, according to a Goldman Sachs report Friday.

In the southern city of Guangzhou, the report said there was about a 65% drop from last year.

Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, where exports are thriving, It has been hit hardest by the Covid wave this month. Some frustrated residents break through the lockdown wall A local official said Thursday, according to state media.

Only parts of the city are on lockdown. But businesses are worried and are working overtime to ensure orders can be processed without disruption, said Klaus Senkel, vice president of his EU Chamber of Commerce in China and head of the South China branch.

He said one company in the food industry was forced into lockdown for about a week and lost hundreds of tons of unspecified ingredients.

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Members of the EU Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai have moved meetings online and taken other precautionary measures, but in the northern city of Shenyang, restaurants and gyms had to close again, local businesses said. representative said.

Overall, the EU Chamber of Commerce said on Friday that more emphasis should be placed on vaccination of local populations. China lags behind US and Singapore when it comes to vaccination senior rate.

In recent months, Chinese authorities have focused on conducting frequent virus tests and taking more targeted measures in an attempt to control the outbreak of the novel coronavirus while still allowing business activity.

“We keep sending documents… [Chinese] Because I think they’re soul searching how to handle this situation,” said Wuttke.

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