Beijing under semi-lockdown to curb Omicron spread

Beijing: China's capital Beijing on Wednesday shut down several metro stations besides schools, restaurants and businesses and ordered daily COVID-19 testing of its 21 million people as it ramped up measures to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant which has brought the financial hub Shanghai to halt for over a month. Beijing reported 53 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to over 500 cases as the capital continues enforcing strict anti-virus measures and postponed school reopening for a week as a precautionary measure.

The capital city on Wednesday closed over 40 subway stations, about 10 per cent of the total, and 158 bus routes.

Most of the suspended stations and services are in the Chaoyang district, the prominent area in the city housing the top leaders as well as diplomatic enclaves.

All kindergartens, primary and middle schools and secondary vocational schools in Beijing have postponed resuming classes for a week until May 11, official media reported. When students will return to schools would be based on the COVID-19 situation, Beijing authorities said. Those who really need to leave Beijing must present a nucleic acid test negative certificate taken within 48 hours and a green health code before boarding a plane or a train.

Airports and railway stations will strengthen inspection, and spot checks will also be carried out on those leaving Beijing by road.

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