Covid: Beijing Shuts Parts of Subway to Contain Outbreak in China's Capital

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China's capital of Beijing closed more than 60 subway stations, over 10% of the network, on Wednesday as an additional measure against the spread of coronavirus. Many of the affected stations are in the Chaoyang district in east Beijing, including an interchange that serves a central business area. Dozens of bus routes were also suspended.

The subway authority in a brief message said only that the measure to shut the mostly downtown stations was being taken as part of epidemic control measures.

No date for resumption of service was given.

Beijing has been on high alert for the spread of Covid-19, with restaurants and bars limited to takeout only, gyms closed and classes suspended indefinitely.

A few communities where cases were discovered have been isolated.

People residing in "controlled" areas have been told to stay within city limits, including 12 areas deemed high risk and another 35 considered medium risk.

Beijing residents must undergo three tests throughout the week as authorities seek to detect and isolate cases without imposing the sort of sweeping lockdowns seen in Shanghai and elsewhere.

A negative test result obtained within the previous 48 hours is required to gain entry to most public spaces.

Beijing on Wednesday recorded just 51 new cases, five of them asymptomatic.

In one downtown neighborhood categorized as high-risk on Wednesday, the streets were practically deserted apart from a few delivery drivers on scooters and the occasional pedestrian and car.

While taking a lighter touch in Beijing, China has overall stuck to its strict "zero-Covid" approach that restricts travel, tests entire cities and sets up sprawling facilities to try to isolate every infected person.

Lockdowns start with buildings and neighborhoods but become citywide if the virus spreads widely.

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Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics