COVID19: Beijing tightens travel restrictions and cancels marathons

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As a result of the dual pressures of external import and internal resurgences of COVID19, Beijing will tighten management and control of personnel entering the city during the most critical phase.

On Sunday, Changping, Fengtai, and Haidian reported five new infections and one asymptomatic carrier. All six infections are linked to recent COVID19 outbreaks elsewhere. The latest outbreak in Beijing has resulted in 14 locally confirmed infections as of Saturday.

The Delta variant caused the recent outbreak in Changping district, according to the Beijing Center for Disease Control. The virus mutation caused outbreaks in Inner Mongolia and Gansu Provinces in North China.

Like the previous two confirmed cases in Fengtai district, this virus has two transmission branches.

The majority of infected are over 55. They’re all about travel to Inner Mongolia. It is common for viruses to multiply quickly. The flare-up involved a wide range of areas and venues.

The virus was spread by two confirmed infected people named Chen and Liu who live in Changping. Despite sore throats and fevers from their Inner Mongolia trips, they went out to eat and played mahjong on October 16.

Their travel destination was upgraded to medium-risk on October 19, but instead of reporting it or getting nucleic acid tests or hospital treatment, they bought thermometers and medicines.

So far, the virus has been confirmed in five of the eight people who played Mahjong with Chen and Liu.

The two pharmacists in Changping where Chen and Liu bought cough and antipyretic medicines between October 17 and 20 were also investigated by the local police.

The suspects Yang and Wang did not check the two infected persons’ health codes. They also didn’t take their temperatures or record their purchases, putting them at risk of spreading the virus, police said.

Cross-provincial tourism will be suspended and tour group epidemic prevention management will be strengthened, said Beijing Municipal Government spokesperson Xu Hejian on Sunday.

Those from areas with confirmed cases or those who have visited such areas within the last 14 days are barred from entering or returning to Beijing, the official said.

Beijing will also reduce conferences and forums, and all marathons, including the Beijing Marathon competition on October 31, the Beijing Marathon Expo on October 29-30, and the Beijing Marathon Adidas Kids Run on October 30, will be postponed.

City-wide epidemiological investigation and screening, DNA testing, and lockdown and control force deployment will be emphasised.

Infected people’s homes, workplaces, and activities will be locked down or closed as new cases are reported. According to the press conference, personnel within the range will be subjected to nucleic acid tests to identify potential threats.