Fintech Trends in Hong Kong

Beijing takes swift action to control outbreak

A medical worker takes a swab sample from a citizen at a nucleic acid testing site during a mass testing for COVID-19 in Fengtai District, Beijing, April 26, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Beijing's health authority found two independent transmission chains in the latest round of the COVID-19 outbreak since Friday based on an investigation and gene sequencing, and the number of new cases was expected to rise, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The city reported 22 locally transmitted cases between 4 pm on Monday and 4 pm on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections since Friday to 92.

"The gene sequencing of 38 samples from the patients showed that the infections involved the Omicron variant and are part of two different transmission chains-one in Chaoyang district, which registered more than half of the confirmed cases, and the other in Fengtai district, which is related to a hospital," Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing CDC, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The outbreak involves clusters in schools and among seniors who had been traveling in tour groups, as well as interior decorators and people dining out together and at a wedding feast.

As of Tuesday, Beijing had two high-risk areas for COVID-19 and 12 medium-risk areas.

Schools are currently a key location for epidemic control and prevention, the health authority said. The schools involved should organize online courses for students and take good care of their mental health.

Some schools in Haidian district were notified that all after-school academic tutoring services provided by training institutions inside and outside the schools are suspended, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Tuesday. Staff members from institutions outside the schools will be forbidden to enter the campuses.

Beijing is taking every measure to keep the virus from spreading further and to ensure that residents can continue with their daily lives.

The city has started three rounds of nucleic acid testing for the novel coronavirus that began on Tuesday for all residents in 11 districts, following Chaoyang, which had already started testing on Monday.

The three rounds of tests will be completed between Tuesday and Saturday.

During this period, Beijing will suspend all cultural, arts and sports events, exhibitions and large-scale commercial promotions, and after-school training courses.

Zhao Weidong, deputy head of the Beijing Commerce Bureau, said seven major wholesale agricultural produce markets provided a total of 25,200 metric tons of vegetables on Tuesday, up 11 percent compared with the previous day.

Previously, the bureau said sufficient government reserves are available for daily goods for the public, and management has been strengthened to ensure their timely use as needed.

Zhao announced on Tuesday that the government was making its reserve of 100 tons of eggs available to the market starting on Tuesday.

Zhou Huiying contributed to the story.