Less than two weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics, as new cases of COVID-19 emerge, Beijing authorities have imposed new containment measures in hopes of containing the latest outbreak.

The National Health and Medical Commission reported on Jan. 23 that nine cases of local infectious diseases were found in Beijing on Saturday, six of which were in Fengtai District, south of Beijing. As a result, about 2 million residents of Fengtai were ordered to undergo nationwide nucleic acid testing on Sunday. Meanwhile, the authorities asked residents in high-risk areas not to leave Beijing and avoid mass gatherings.

Reuters reported that in Fengtai District, some parents said that some kindergartens asked children who have not been vaccinated not to return to the school. However, it is impossible to determine whether this was a government order or the kindergarten’s initiative.

Beijing authorities also have called its residents to conduct nucleic acid tests if they have COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of receiving any deliveries from overseas, according to a statement by local authorities on Saturday.

As the Beijing Winter Olympics came under strict Covid prevention measures before the opening, the authorities have strengthened the “zero-Covid” prevention policy and tried to isolate every infected person. 

City officials say the most decisive and drastic measures must be taken to stop the spread.

China’s National Health Commission also said 56 infections were reported nationwide on Jan. 22, down from 63 a day earlier. Of the new cases, 19 are local infections, down from 23 local infections a day earlier.

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