Beijing is still a 'fortress' against Covid-19 0Beijing is still a 'fortress' against Covid-19 0

People are still required to strictly comply with quarantine and community isolation measures.

Staff at a restaurant in Beijing entertain during the absence of customers on April 8.

Many public places such as museums, libraries, cinemas, and theaters remain closed.

As of April 18, Beijing still identified Chaoyang, a district with an area of 470 square kilometers and a population of 3.6 million, as the only Covid-19 `high-risk zone` in the capital, mainly because of its schools.

In addition to the Capital International Airport, Chaoyang is also home to China’s most expensive office buildings, embassies and several famous shopping malls.

Chen Xi, an investment banker in Chaoyang, shared that he was surprised by the strictness of the blockade regulations in Beijing after returning from a business trip to Anhui province earlier this month.

This business trip involved the opportunity to list a million-dollar company on the stock market, so it was worth going, but Chen said he had to pay a high price.

`The journey to Anhui was quite smooth, but when I returned, I was shocked by the incredibly strict monitoring measures during my mandatory 14-day quarantine,` he said.

Because he lives alone, Chen was self-isolated in his own apartment.

`I was watched so closely, I felt like a prisoner,` he said.

In addition to quarantine measures applied to people, China also banned most international flights to prevent a second wave of infections from breaking out, and banned most foreigners from entering the country, including people with disabilities.

The control measures seem to have been effective as the number of new infections in China has continuously decreased in recent weeks.

On April 3, in response to information about infections at foreign embassies, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised all diplomatic missions in Beijing to stop rotating personnel until May 15.

`If normal life used to score 10 points, now only 6 points is the highest,` said an anonymous foreign diplomat in Beijing.

Beijing is still a 'fortress' against Covid-19

Although foreigners are easy targets to blame for the spread of the virus in China, the diplomat said he was not discriminated against by Beijing.

`Almost every public place has unwelcoming signs, so I usually only walk in the park on weekends,` he said.

Wang Zhen, owner of a printing shop in Beijing, is one of the few businesses to benefit from social distancing measures.

With schools still closed and teachers having to teach online, demand for printing materials has skyrocketed.

Beijing residents keep their distance according to the government’s community isolation recommendations.

`I’m too busy. This morning, I had to do paperwork related to the new residential access card and identification card,` Wang said.

While Wang talked to reporters, her son attentively played video games on his phone.

`I don’t know how to do these math problems, mom,` the boy said.

`I hope school will reopen soon, otherwise, I will be exhausted,` Wang said with a sigh.

Although schools have begun to open in some Chinese cities, Beijing officials announced earlier this month that for now, home learning will remain in place.

On April 21, 69 patients infected with nCoV were treated in hospitals in Beijing, fewer than in many other places across the country such as Shanghai, Inner Mongolia or Heilongjiang, Hubei, and Guangdong provinces.

`I don’t understand why Beijing has to protect it so closely,` Wang wondered.

Vu Hoang (According to SCMP)

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