Hong Kong in Online News and World News

Beijing Expands Mass Testing as Lockdown Fears Grow

Online News Headline News

by Beiyi Seow

Beijing launched mass coronavirus testing on Tuesday for nearly all its 21 million residents, as fears grew that the Chinese capital may be placed under a strict lockdown like Shanghai. Online News

Under its zero-Covid policy, China has used lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions to stamp out infections.

Its biggest city, Shanghai, has been almost entirely locked down for weeks, and the mass testing order in Beijing has sparked worries the capital will be placed under similar restrictions.

“Shanghai’s situation has gone beyond everyone’s imagination, and many people think it’s absurd that a modern metropolis… has handled the situation like that,” said Beijing resident Ms Zhao as she did her regular shopping at a supermarket.

“I believe our situation will not be as bad… but to be honest, we also bought some rice, noodles, grains and oil. We’ve made preparations for at least one to two weeks,” the 35-year-old human resources professional told AFP.

Beijing has ordered residents of the 12 central districts home to most of its population to undergo three rounds of testing after dozens of infections were found in recent days.

The capital’s most populous district, Chaoyang, was the first to order mass testing from Monday, with people waiting in long lines to be swabbed by health workers in protective gear.

Eleven more districts began testing on Tuesday.

Headline News Online News

The testing order for Chaoyang sparked panic buying on Sunday night, with residents lining up at supermarkets with full carts as state media tried to reassure the public there were plentiful supplies.

Beijing residents told AFP they feared a repeat of the sudden lockdown in Shanghai, where people have struggled to obtain food and medical care for non-Covid conditions.

Several residential compounds have already been sealed off in Chaoyang.

One resident, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisal, told AFP he felt “a little anxious” after fences were suddenly put up in his neighbourhood.

Residents in his building were ordered Monday night to stay home for at least 14 days after one neighbour tested positive.

“I’m worried that if we need medicine or other items in the future, we won’t be able to get them delivered,” he said.

Meanwhile, Beijing suspended large gatherings such as wedding banquets, closed theatres, and ordered a halt in some construction projects.

Headline News Online News

Many of the new infections were linked to one wedding party, officials told reporters, saying efforts to control the spread of the virus were at a “critical stage”.

They urged residents to wear stronger N95 masks.

Hong Kong in Online News and World News
Pro-Democracy Protesters are seen holding up their cellphones as flashlights as a prison van is about to exit the courthouse on December 2, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong urged supporters to "hang on" after he was sentenced to more than a year in prison for leading a protest outside police headquarters last year, prompting angry cries outside the court in one of the most high-profile cases in the government’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. (Photo by Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via AP)

Multiple residents took to social media to lament the last-minute postponement of their weddings.

“I’ll develop psychological problems if this goes on,” wrote a woman who said she would have to delay her wedding, planned for the upcoming May national holiday — a popular time for couples tying the knot.

  • Economic pressure –

The capital reported 33 new cases Tuesday, a fraction of Shanghai’s daily tally of 16,000 infections and 52 new deaths.

Headline News Online News

But Beijing officials are anxious to avoid a spiralling outbreak.

They have urged companies to allow employees to work from home and suspended local group tourism ahead of the May national holiday.

Authorities have urged residents not to leave Beijing unless necessary.

Beijing’s measures are mild, however, compared with actions taken elsewhere, Pinpoint Asset Management chief economist Zhiwei Zhang said in a note.

“I am surprised that the government did not impose restrictive policies in Beijing as harshly and quickly as in other cities that experienced similar outbreaks in recent weeks,” he wrote.

Authorities are increasingly struggling with the impact of strict zero-Covid protocols on the economy, especially when outbreaks appear in the country’s most important cities.

Concerns have also grown about how China’s Covid-19 policies could impact the global economy, especially supply chains.

The city of Baotou in China’s Inner Mongolia region — a major supplier of rare earths — said Monday that after the detection of two virus cases, all residents must stay home, with each household only sending one member out each day for necessities.

China’s central bank promised to “increase support” for the economy on Tuesday, particularly for smaller businesses affected by the pandemic.


© Agence France-Presse. All rights are reserved.

Headline News Online News

Notes from APS Radio News

During the past few years a number of studies, including the CDC’s own study, indicated that face coverings failed to prevent the transmission of viral particles.

While direct transmission of spittle was to some degree prevented, the masks failed to stop oral moisture from being transmitted at the sides of the mask, studies showed.

As during 1918, when many cities in the US imposed mask mandates, the accumulation of moisture and bacteria that comes from wearing masks causes the onset of bacterial infections and dental problems.

In 2007 OSHA issued an advisory that warned employers in the construction industry requiring their employees to wear face coverings for longer than brief periods of time.

As well, during the past few years, it’s been learned that the virus has had a recovery rate of about 99%.

Even those above the age of 70% had a recovery rate of about 90%.

According to Statista, in the US, average mortality rate of the virus has been about .069%.

In previous years, when the seasonal flu was still being reported, the mortality rate of influenza could be as high as .13%.

With regard to the experimental mRNA vaccine, in countries with the highest rates of vaccine participation have continued to see an increase in the number of virus cases.

Whereas as of May 7, 2021, Israel had recorded 838,850 virus cases, as of April 25, 2022, Israel had recorded 4,057,772 virus cases.

Although Gibraltar has had a vaccine participation rate of over 100%, it has seen an increase in the number of virus cases.

Statista is an award-winning service that compiles statistics for corporations and governments.

Of all countries Israel started mass vaccinations early not long after the experimental vaccine was introduced to the world.

For much of the past year Israel’s vaccine participation rate has been over 70%; during much of the past year over 65% were fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

Online News Headline News

Commentary & News Online
APS Radio News