| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Beijing firms up COVID screening to prevent Shanghai-like chaos

On Thursday, Beijing closed some public spaces and increased security at others as the majority of the Chinese capital’s 22 million residents turned out for more mass COVID-19 testing aimed at averting a Shanghai-style lockdown.

Most people in the commercial hub had been in stressful home isolation for a month, struggling to meet basic needs. However, there was hope on the horizon as the number of new cases continued to fall, and officials stated that their focus was shifting to increasing vaccinations among the elderly.

Fears were growing, however, that China would be trapped in a whack-a-mole game in coming months, lifting lockdowns in some places, while imposing others elsewhere, causing severe economic damage and exasperating its population.

  • Reuters