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Global Times

Beijing COVID-19 cases fall for 9th day, risks of resurgence persist during holidays

Global Times

By GT staff reporters Published: May 31, 2022 07:00 PM

New COVID-19 cases in Beijing have fallen for nine consecutive days, but risks of a resurgence still exist as one new confirmed case was reported outside controlled areas in Changping district on Tuesday.

Experts warned the city not to let its guard down during the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival holidays, which may bring higher mobility among local residents.

Five new confirmed cases were reported in Beijing at a press conference with three in Haidian district, one in Xicheng and one in Changping. Aside from the case found in Changping, the other four were found among people under medical observation. On Monday, one confirmed case was found outside controlled areas in Fengtai district.

The new cases found outside controlled areas showed that a resurgence risk persists, and prevention measures must be firmly implemented to realize the dynamic zero-COVID policy, said Xu Hejian, the spokesperson of the Beijing municipal government.

On Tuesday, Beijing announced that test takers who live in areas without any epidemic could go back to school on Thursday.

Fengtai announced that all residents in the district should work remotely from Tuesday to June 5, and residents were told not to go outside the district if not necessary.

"We cannot let our guard down, considering there are still risks of a resurgence," Wang Guangfa, a Beijing-based respiratory expert, said. New cases found outside controlled areas show possible loopholes in the prevention work and need adjustments.

Analysts said that if transmission cannot be stopped outside controlled areas, the increasing mobility during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays may add to the risks, as after a long period of static management in most areas, many residents in Beijing may want to go outside to enjoy a holiday with their families.

During the Tuesday press conference, Beijing called on all residents to stay in the city during the holidays.

Liu Xiaofeng, a deputy director at the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, told the press conference that Beijing has designated different areas for different prevention measures, with some districts going back to normal.

The authorities called on residents to be more cautious, stay in Beijing if possible, avoid high-risk areas and maintain social distancing during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays.

Many scenic spots in the city's outskirt districts with no new cases found in recent days have been allowed to reopen. The Global Times learned from some camping sites that they have received many calls for reservations.

"We require all guests to have negative nucleic acid testing results within 48 hours, and we will only have 50 percent of the total capacity of visitors," said a customer service employee of a camping site in Mentougou district.

Wang noted that there's still a risk of imported cases, including possible infections brought about by international packages and cold-chain food.

"But we are in the summer season with high temperatures - this environment is not good for the virus, which may also decrease the risk of respiratory infections," Wang said.

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