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Beijing tightens COVID-19 restrictions as cases are detected in capital

Beijing tightens COVID-19 restrictions as cases are detected in capital

Beijing has tightened COVID-19 restrictions on concerns that mass travel from China during the holiday period could cause a spike in cases in the capital, as it reported local transmission cases for the fourth day in a row on Sunday.

A meeting led by the head of the capital's Communist Party, Cai Qi, urged all districts of Beijing to enter an "emergency" mode, sealing residential complexes and villages where infections are found.

Shunyi District, where all recent coronavirus cases have been reported, has declared a mode of war and testing for all of its 800,000 people. All of the cases reported Saturday were close contacts of previous cases.

Shunyi's neighboring Chaoyang District has finished testing 234,413 people in three neighborhoods, and none tested positive. People who have not received their test results cannot leave, the district government said.

Some residential complexes in Tongzhou have reimposed temperature controls at the entrance and the number of entrances has been reduced, according to local media reports.

China has largely controlled the coronavirus, but sporadic cases are re-emerging in a small number of cities. Authorities plan to vaccinate 50 million people in high-risk groups ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday starting Feb. 11, the state-run Global Times said.

Beijing has asked its officials to stay in the city from January 1 until the holiday and asked the public to avoid unnecessary travel during the period.

Public places like theme parks and churches have reduced operating hours. Some Catholic churches in Beijing, including the Wangfujing Catholic Church, have stopped admitting parishioners and halted group activities, the Archdiocese of Beijing said on its website.

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