The authorities cancel face-to-face classes, close bars and suspend sports events
The outbreak seemed subdued Beijing last week when he added three consecutive days without cases but a couple of hectic nights of an infected person rolled the rock of Sisyphus down the slope. The capital reported this Tuesday of 74 daily infections, the highest figure in three weeks, which pushes the total of the outbreak towards 300. Even more disturbing is that they are counted in a hundred communities spread over 14 of its 16 districts and that the authorities assume that cases will continue to surface.
The city has stopped the progressive opening. The face-to-face classes in schools have been canceled until further notice, have been suspended sports events and the pubs They have lowered the blind after just a week in operation. The central district of Chaoyang is the hardest hit: restaurants only serve takeawaynumerous complexes have been confined and imposed three daily tests to its almost three million inhabitants. A walk revealed him this morning sleepy and with ubiquitous rows of neighbors waiting for the tongue scraping procedure. A cafeteria invited its customers to finish their drinks on the street on Monday after receiving a police visit.
Beijing applied the traditional prescription of the zero tolerance policy when last month it learned of half a dozen cases. Still fresh from the torment of Shanghai, caused by a reaction as slow as it was lukewarm, the capital ordered massive tests, closed parks and froze the leisure sector. Beijing circumvented the confinement and lowered the fifty daily cases to zero. And then, after lifting many of the restrictions, what the national press knows as patient 1991. His itinerary suggests that few enjoyed the reopening of bars more than that young man. The guy is known to live beyond the fifth ring road, about two hours from Sanlitun, the entertainment epicenter of the Chaoyang district. After the second night he felt a fever, he took a test and his positive one placed the health authorities facing the Homeric challenge of finding all those who had coincided with him in half a dozen stores crammed. More than 6,000 people have been quarantined.
The case has highlighted the lax implementation of some bars of the regulations that oblige all public establishments to demand from their clients the negative result of a test carried out in the last 72 hours. The young man added two weeks without tests. The outbreak has cost the establishment its license Heaven’s Supermarket, epicenter of the outbreak, and criminal charges against their owners. In this historic venue of the Beijing night, the foreign and the local community met, attracted by the low prices of imported beer, in a noisy atmosphere and without the refinement of other clubs in the area. He was visited yesterday by Sun Chunlan, vice president and in charge of the national fight against covid, in what seemed to be the removal of the body. The authorities later clarified that they will deal in a “fast, strict and serious” with the locals who ignore their duties.
The outbreak is the last blow to the sector that suffers most from the rigor of the zero tolerance policy. “The authorities know that it is impossible to control everyone who enters. They can know with the geolocation of mobile phones how many people there are and contrast it with the registry. If there are no positives, you will be fined. If it so happens that among the clientele there is a positive, you are lost. They will use you as scapegoat“, Reveals the owner of a live music venue in the historic district of the capital. Added to the anxiety about the long and devastating closures these days is that of ending up in court.
Beijing has not suffered from massive lockdowns and has diligently shut down its outbreaks. Since that strange pneumonia appeared in wuhan he had only suffered a scare. It was in 2020 due to a focus located in the Xinfadi food market and that never overflowed its closest perimeter. The current one, however, was conceived in the playful heart of the city, which is attended by crowds from all districts.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.