Beijing: Beijing is closing all city schools in a further tightening of Covid-19 restrictions, as China’s capital seeks to prevent a wider outbreak. The city of 21 million has already ordered three rounds of mass testing this week. Earlier, the city’s Education Bureau ordered all schools to end classes and said it hadn’t determined when they would resume. It also wasn’t clear whether schools would be able to offer classes online or allow students facing crucial exams to return to class.
Beijing announced 50 new cases bringing its total in the latest wave of infections to around 150. Students make up more than 30% of total cases, with clusters linked to six schools and two kindergartens in Chaoyang. Also, residents of two housing compounds in Beijing’s Chaoyang district were ordered to stay inside and some clinics and businesses shut down.
Beijing has moved more swiftly than many Chinese cities to impose curbs while case numbers remain low and the scale of the outbreak is still manageable. The goal is to avoid the sort of sweeping measures imposed on Shanghai, where the highly transmissible omicron variant has torn through the city of 25 million. Restrictions confining many Shanghai residents to their homes are now in their fourth week and all schools have been online since last month. The National Health Commission reported 11,285 new cases across mainland China, most of them asymptomatic and majority in Shanghai, where 47 deaths were reported.