Beijing health authorities announced today, January 20, the first two cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) UK variant infection in Beijing. The two cases were found in Daxing District. Tens of thousands of people in five local districts have been quarantined, and Daxing began full-scale testing today. The British variant of the coronavirus is thought to be more contagious.
Beijing, Home to 21 million people, announced Wednesday that tens of thousands of people in five neighborhoods in the southern suburb of Daxing have been quarantined and closed. Daxing District began testing all 1.6 million residents for nucleic acid today, Jan. 20.
The cases found in Daxing “are not genetically related to previously reported local or imported cases,” according to Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, who told reporters. “They are thought to be variants of the new coronavirus found in the United Kingdom.”
Previously, in late December, Shanghai notified a case of the British variant, carried by a female student who was reportedly flown to Shanghai from the UK.
Starting today, all residents of Daxing District are asked to stay home and not leave, including students from kindergarten to high school. Parties of more than 50 people are temporarily banned, and weddings must be postponed. Daxing District is home to one of Beijing’s two international airports. The airport is currently not subject to any restrictions.
Last week, 500,000 residents have been ordered not to leave most rural areas after a local coronavirus infection was found in Shunyi district, a northern suburb of Beijing.
China announced 103 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday 20, with six of the seven new infections in Beijing in Daxing. The rest are in northern and northeastern China.
While the number of new infections in China in recent days is not at all comparable to records in Europe or the United States, it is the highest number in China since last July. Authorities have responded quickly with mandatory quarantines, mandatory mass confinement and screening, and vaccination campaigns. More than 15 million people have been vaccinated out of a total population of 1.4 billion.
As of last week, 76 million Hebeians have not been allowed to leave the province unless there is an absolute emergency. Jilin, Heilongjiang and other provinces have taken similar measures.
The Epidemic may flare up again as China’s most important holiday of the year, the Lunar New Year holiday (Feb. 11-17), approaches and people usually flock to their hometowns in large numbers for the holiday, worrying authorities.