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Beijing, the capital of China, has stepped up efforts to halt COVID-19, tightening government oversight and securing some residential neighbourhoods as a result of a recent quadrupling of its caseload, which coincided with the start of a crucial Communist Party session.

Beijing's health authority demanded stricter inspections on persons accessing busy areas like supermarkets and gyms as well as more screening of high-risk individuals. Three-day lockdowns were imposed on several residential compounds where there were suspected cases; these lockdowns could be prolonged if new illnesses surface.

China has recently vowed to uphold its zero-COVID policy in the face of mounting public dissatisfaction over it and the harm it does to the economy, putting an end to rumours that it would soon soften the strict stance.

It has been alleged that Beijing has begun tightening its control over the heavily-watched Tibet autonomous area, and the government is continuing to oppress more people under the guise of the Zero-Covid policy.

Also Read: COVID-19 lockdown, mass testing in China despite minor cases - here’s why

On October 20, the 21 million-people city reported 18 additional locally-transmitted cases for the day before, bringing the total for the preceding 10 days to 197. The 49 infections found in the prior 10-day period were outnumbered by that number by a factor of four.

Despite the relatively-low number of cases compared to other nations, China's zero-COVID policy has forced the nation's capital to step up preventive measures, especially as the Communist Party holds its once every five years congress this week, where President Xi Jinping is anticipated to win an unprecedented third term as its leader.

Also Read: Covid Zero strategy: China shuts down city of 61 lakh

This week, Shanghai, one of many Chinese cities dealing with intermittent COVID outbreaks, announced plans to construct a 3,250-bed quarantine facility on a small island near the city's centre. After identifying hundreds of thousands of cases, the 25 million-person city faced a protracted lockdown in April and May.

There are similar quarantine facilities with thousands of beds in other large cities, including Beijing and Guangzhou. Furthermore, they regularly engage in public testing initiatives.

(With agency inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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