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Beijing suffers from record rise in corona cases | Current Asia | DW

On Sunday, the number of new cases was 621. In the fight against the viral disease, China is further tightening its measures. Parks, shopping centers and museums were closed in the capital on Tuesday. As of Thursday, a negative PCR test will be required to enter public buildings such as shopping malls, hotels or government buildings, announced Beijing government spokesman Xu Hejian. Employees have been asked to work from home.

Mass tests were ordered again in other major cities. Overall, China reported 28,127 new infections. Most cases occurred in the city of Guangzhou in southern China and the Chongqing district in the south-west of the country. Two other people died in connection with the virus. Three older people with previous illnesses from COVID-19 died over the weekend – the first deaths since May.

These Beijingers are lined up for a corona test

A test for Corona policy

China was until recently the last major economy to adopt a very strict zero-COVID policy. Lockdowns up to the sealing off of entire districts and cities and the closure of businesses due to small corona outbreaks led to major restrictions in people’s everyday lives. The strategy, which initially proved effective in containing the coronavirus, appears to be losing effectiveness in the face of new virus variants.

The People’s Republic recently changed the approach to the fight against corona in order to no longer burden the economy so much and to minimize frustration among the population. Cities should take more targeted measures and move away from widespread lockdowns and controls. However, the latest wave is putting this approach to the test. Investors reacted nervously to the development, as they fear another economic slowdown. According to experts, for a complete reopening of China, a massive refresher of vaccinations is necessary. So far, the People’s Republic has only used vaccines from domestic development and production.

China Peking | Coronavirus Welle

A man takes a throat swab for a COVID-19 test at a testing center in Beijing

Cancellation for Formula 1 races?

Meanwhile, the planned next Formula 1 race in China could fall victim to the virus. According to a media report, the Chinese Grand Prix is ​​to be canceled on April 16, 2023. The reason is the rigid zero-COVID policy of the government in Beijing, the British broadcaster BBC reported. Most recently, a Formula 1 race took place on the Shanghai International Circuit in 2019 before it was no longer driven there due to the corona pandemic and the strict quarantine rules. The crucial point is that no exceptions to the quarantine rules are made for F1 employees in the event of a corona infection. Formula 1 is of the opinion that the teams cannot be expected to take the risk that employees could be detained for days.

kle/uh (afp, rtr)

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