Beijing in lockdown as China hits record COVID-19 cases


As COVID-19 cases hit daily highs in China, the country is reimposing a series of strict measures under its “zero-COVID” policy, including lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines for anyone suspected to have been in contact with the virus.

The 31,444 COVID-19 infections reported on Wednesday broke a record set on April 13, when Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, was in lockdown for two months.

The new restrictions cover cities and towns from the southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou to Beijing in the north.

While the measures imposed in the Chinese capital have been less drastic than in other regions, normal life in the city has been severely disrupted, with no word yet on when the restrictions will be lifted.

Along with the closure of hundreds of stores, restaurants, malls and office buildings, residential complexes have been sealed off in varying degrees of severity. In some cases, all outside visitors and delivery people are banned, leaving residents to pick up items at the door. Authorities have issued notices asking residents not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary or to buy groceries and seek medical attention.

Beijing’s life in confinement

On Thursday, workers wearing face masks set up metal barriers in a closed neighborhood.

(Andy Wong/Associated Press)

An epidemic control worker wears a protective suit as he sits in front of a barrier in an area under lockdown.

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(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A worker in a protective suit sprays disinfectant as residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site.

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(Andy Wong/Associated Press)

Security personnel wear masks as they stand outside a luxury department store that has remained open in Beijing’s central business district.

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(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a delivery man collects goods from a logistics station of an online grocery platform.

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(Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

On Wednesday, a taxi driver wearing a face mask waits for customers near lines of unused shared bikes.

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(Andy Wong/Associated Press)

People cycle down an unusually quiet street on Thursday.

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(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A man walks alone on an overpass near an almost empty street near the city’s business district.

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(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)


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