Millions of Beijing residents work from their homes Monday after a new round of anti-Covid measures, giving the Chinese capital of 22 million people the appearance of a ghost town.
China is facing its worst epidemic wave in two months since the disease first broke out in early 2020.
Even if pollution numbers remain negligible on a global scale, authorities are rigorously enforcing their zero COVID policy and confining entire cities as soon as there are a few cases.
After Shanghai, the country’s most populous city, which has been confined since the beginning of April, Beijing has been subject to travel restrictions for a week and closed many public places (restaurants, cafes, gyms, gyms, etc.).
On Monday, authorities severely restricted access to non-essential services in the capital’s most populous Chaoyang District, with some companies having to limit their regular workforce to 5%.
As a result, the busy Sanlitun business district in eastern Beijing was deserted on Monday morning. The very busy Apple Store was ordered to close within minutes of opening.
“I don’t feel comfortable with so few people around me,” a cleaner named Wang told AFP, waiting to enter the restaurant that hired her.
“I’m responsible for the disinfection, I can’t work from home.”
On Monday, Beijing announced 49 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours.
Elsewhere in Shanghai, the number of new infections fell below 4,000 on Monday, after passing 25,000 at the end of April.
The current outbreak has also killed more than 500 people in Shanghai, according to an official report. China’s total number has barely exceeded 5,000 officially since the beginning of the epidemic.
Some residents let their discontent show after 40 days of confinement, which was sometimes marked by supply problems.
In Zhuanqiao District, residents clashed over the weekend with officials in full underwear, according to a video posted on social media.
“The police moved as quickly as possible to convince the spectators to disperse and restore calm,” the local authorities said.
The same source emphasized that “according to the investigation carried out on the spot, the rioters had enough food at home.”
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”