Residents of Beijing’s Daxing district undergo virus test, banned from leaving capital
Published: Jan 20, 2021 08:03 AM Updated: Jan 20, 2021 10:00 AM

Anti-epidemic workers take samples for COVID-19 testing inside a closed-down restaurant in Beijing's Daxing district on Monday. Photo: IC

Beijing has reported seven local COVID-19 cases, six of which are from Daxing district. Home to more than 1.7 million permanent residents, Daxing has strengthened prevention measures, including the launch of sweeping district-wide nucleic acid testing, banning residents from leaving Beijing, and shutting down schools and nursing homes. 

Daxing reported nine confirmed cases as of Wednesday. The residential community where the patients live has been designated a high-risk region, becoming the only one in the capital city. 

Besides, 17 centralized isolation sites have been put into operation in the district, and all teachers and students of the school where cases were reported are under quarantine. 

At least five residential communities in Daxing have entered lockdown, including one COVID-19 medium-risk region. Residents were required to quarantine at home, starting from Wednesday, said local authorities. 

All public places in the five affected communities were ordered to shut down. In the less-affected areas, stores and recreational venues were required to strictly implement prevention measures including temperature checks, ventilation and disinfection, and only half of the regular number of customers were allowed to enter.

Trains and buses have been ordered to limit their passenger numbers to 75 percent of capacity, while metro stations in the affected areas will be closed, according to authorities. 

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that they found the COVID-19 strain in the first two cases in Daxing is the same as the variant initially reported in the UK. 

The local cluster outbreak in Daxing is serious, bringing the district's prevention and control work to a critical point, said Beijing's top leaders at a meeting held on Tuesday night.  

Beijing also ordered all those who have entered the city since December 10, 2020 to be screened to find the origin of the outbreak. 

Daxing district covers the southern suburbs of Beijing and neighbors Hebei Province's Langfang, which has urged local residents to avoid going to Beijing. Vehicles and personnel entering the capital will go through checks and have their identities verified.  

Daxing's outbreak started on Monday after two residents were found to be infected with coronavirus, ending more than 200 days without any reported cases. 

The newly reported cases in Daxing also led to a wider search for their close contacts in the capital city. 

In addition to the high-risk region in Daxing, Beijing also has three medium-risk regions as of Wednesday, all of which are in Shunyi district.