Due to a handful of infections, thousands of Kovid-negative Beijing residents have been forced to move to Quarantine hotels overnight, as the capital begins to take more aggressive control measures similar to the virus-infected Shanghai.
Beijing has been fighting its worst outbreak since the epidemic began. The Omicron mutation has infected more than 1,300 since late April, shutting down major urban restaurants, schools and tourist attractions indefinitely.
China’s strategy to achieve zero covid cases includes strict border closures, long quarantine, mass testing and quick, targeted lockdowns.
More than 13,000 residents of southeastern Beijing’s locked-down Nanxinhuang housing complex have been evacuated to quarantine hotels on Friday night due to 26 new infections recently discovered, widely shared on social media, according to photos and government instructions.
“Experts have determined that all Nongsinuan residents will be subjected to a centralized quarantine for seven days from midnight on May 21,” officials in Chang District said Friday.
“Please cooperate, otherwise you will have corresponding legal consequences.”
Photos on social media showed hundreds of residents lugging in the dark to board the coaches parked outside the compound.
“Some of us have been locked up for 23 days from April 23, and we have all tested the negativity,” wrote a resident on Twitter-like Weibo.
“A lot of my neighbors are elderly or have young children.”
“The transfer really makes us feel like we’re in a wartime scene,” resident and real estate blogger Liu Guangyu posted on Weibo early Saturday.
According to screenshots shared on Weibo, residents are told to pack their clothes and essentials and then disinfect their homes.
Last month, thousands of negative Shanghai residents were taken to a temporary quarantine station hundreds of kilometers away, as the city of 25 million doubled its efforts to stop the virus from spreading.
Weibo users have expressed widespread concern that Beijing officials are taking a similar approach to Shanghai, where residents have been denied access to food and medical care for many people under a months-long lockdown.
The Weibo hashtag “All residents of the Nongxiuan Compound were pulled into Quarantine” was blocked on Saturday morning.
“It’s the same as Shanghai. The first step is to cut off water and electricity, then the keys to demand … then disinfect the house. Power tools, wooden furniture, clothes, food – it’s all been done,” read one comment.
Beijing officials have extended work from home guidance to another district on Saturday, a day after most public bus and subway services were shut down.