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As China is trying to contain a wave of infections, it's capital Beijing began testing millions of residents and shutting down residential and business districts Monday amid a new outbreak of Covid-19.

Downtown Beijing's most populous district Chaoyang, home to around 3.5 million people, ordered mass testing for residents and those coming to work there. The area hosts embassies and the headquarters of many multinational firms.

While less than 50 cases have been found in the city of over 21 million since the outbreak surfaced Friday, authorities have implemented extreme measures to prevent a further spread of the virus.

Residents were staying home and stocking up on food as a safeguard against the possibility that they could be confined indoors, as has happened in multiple cities including the financial hub of Shanghai.

Items on grocery delivery apps sold out briefly

Many items on grocery delivery apps sold out briefly on Sunday night after the testing order was announced, but stocks were replenished on Monday.

Long lines formed in supermarkets in central Beijing. Shoppers snapped up rice, noodles, vegetables and other food items, while store workers hastily restocked some empty shelves. State media issued reports saying supplies remained plentiful in Beijing despite the buying surge.

Shoppers appeared concerned but not yet panicked. One woman, carrying two bags of vegetables, eggs and frozen dumplings, said she is buying a little more than usual. A man said he isn't worried but is just being cautious since he has a 2-year-old daughter.

Beijing city reports 29 new local COVID cases in 24 hours

Beijing reported 29 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections during the period of 4 p.m. (0800 GMT) April 24 TO 4 p.m. April 25, a local official said on Monday.

Shanghai, which has been locked down for more than two weeks, reported more than 19,000 new infections and 51 deaths in the latest 24-hour period, pushing its death toll from the ongoing outbreak to more than 100.

The central city of Anyang, along with Dandong on the border with North Korea, also announced lockdowns as the omicron variant spreads across the vast country.

China's borders remain largely closed as its hardline response and the pandemic's economic impact continue to grow.

Under its zero-Covid strategy, China has imposed lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions to stamp out infections.

Officials say this policy has helped avoid the public health crises seen elsewhere in the world during the pandemic, but the approach has taken a heavy toll on businesses and public morale.

Shares in Hong Kong and mainland China plunged Monday on growing fears about the impact of the outbreak on the world's second-largest economy.

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