Buyer panic in Beijing shops before the arrival of the virus

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China wants at all costs to prevent Beijing from becoming a new Shanghai. For this reason, after detecting a handful of coronavirus cases over the weekend, the authorities yesterday ordered the start of a massive PCR testing campaign in the capital among a population that is already taking precautions in case they end up decreeing their confinement.

For now, the most affected district is Chaoyang, where most of the 47 positives with symptoms registered since Friday have been located. In that area, where numerous multinational companies and embassies operate, its 3.5 million inhabitants and those who work there have been ordered to be tested three times in the next five days.

The omicron variant of the virus has spread "quickly and silently" according to an official

The district has also suspended face-to-face sports and cultural training classes and recommends that its residents reduce public activities. Strict entry controls have also been imposed into the city, and travelers must present a negative covid test that is less than 48 hours old.

According to Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in Beijing, community transmissions in the capital would have started a week ago. According to her, the sudden appearance of cases in such a short time suggests that the virus is spreading "quickly and silently", something that complicates prevention and control tasks and predicts an increase in the number of cases in the coming days.

The recent news has caused nervousness among many of the 22 million inhabitants of the capital, who yesterday flocked to some physical supermarkets and online stores to stock up on supplies in case a confinement is finally decreed.

To avoid panic, the authorities assured that the supply is assured and that there are sufficient supplies, which did not prevent the repetition of the images of empty shelves and queues of customers loaded with products at the counters.

“We are worried that the situation will become like in Shanghai. People are anxious, everyone is buying products and we are worried that they will run out, ”a resident of Chaoyang surnamed Wang told France Press. For now, the numbers of infections registered in Beijing pale in comparison with those of the economic engine of the country. , which already accumulates more than half a million infected and 138 deceased (51 on Sunday's count) since the beginning of March.

The drastic isolation to which Shanghai has been subjected for almost a month has caused serious problems in the supply of food and medicine and great discontent among the population, as reflected on social networks.

Over the past few days, a video titled “April Voices” has circulated widely on the Chinese internet, revealing the difficulties and anguish of people during this difficult period. Despite attempts by censorship to put a stop to it, Internet users have managed to keep it circulating uninterruptedly thanks to slight modifications that make it undetectable, at least for a few moments, by the diligent Chinese censors.

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