Corona outbreak in the capital: Beijing restricts local transport

Corona outbreak in the capital
Beijing restricts public transport

The Chinese city of Beijing reports a few dozen new corona cases every day. This prompted the authorities to shut down local transport in the Chaoyang diplomatic district. The aim is to prevent the ruinous complete lockdown of a second metropolis while the first is still isolated.

In the fight against the further spread of the corona virus, the Chinese capital Beijing is significantly restricting local public transport. More than 40 subway stations and thus around a tenth of the route network are inaccessible, 158 bus routes have been closed. Most of it is in the Chaoyang diplomatic district, the epicenter of the outbreak in Beijing.

There are dozens of new cases every day in the capital, but Beijing is still trying to avoid a complete lockdown like in Shanghai and to get the spread of the virus under control with mass tests. The city of 22 million has closed schools and some businesses and housing in high-risk areas, and many people have stocked up on supplies in case a full lockdown does happen. Twelve of Beijing’s 16 wards are conducting the second of three rounds of testing this week, following three rounds of mass testing last week.

Meanwhile, there is no end in sight to the lockdown in Shanghai. Even after more than a month, most people in China’s largest city and the country’s financial center are still not allowed to leave their housing developments. Some of Shanghai’s 25 million residents have benefited from a cautious relaxation of security measures since Sunday, with typically only one household member allowed outside for a short walk, some fresh air and a small grocery store purchase.

The fast-spreading omicron variant has put China’s zero-Covid policy to the test. The strict and increasingly controversial course is burdening many companies, disrupting supply chains and endangering jobs. Fitch analysts lowered their growth forecast for 2022 to 4.3 from 4.8 percent, well below China’s official target of 5.5 percent. 344 ships were waiting for a berth at the port of Shanghai, up 34 percent from last month. Shipping goods from a warehouse in China to one in the US takes 74 days longer than usual.

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