Beijing closes more venues to curb virus

·2-min read

Beijing has closed more gyms, malls, cinemas and apartment blocks, as Chinese authorities ramp up contact tracing to contain a COVID-19 outbreak, while resentment at the draconian month-long lockdown in Shanghai continued to grow.

In the finance hub, fenced-in people in various districts have been protesting against the lockdown and difficulties in obtaining provisions by banging on pots and pans in the evenings, according to a Reuters witness and residents.

A video shared on social media, whose authenticity could not be immediately verified, showed a woman warning people via a loud-hailer not to do so, saying such gestures were being encouraged by "outsiders".

The Shanghai government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the capital, the Chaoyang district, the first to undergo mass testing this week, started the last of three rounds of screening on Friday among its 3.5 million residents.

Most other districts are due for their third round of tests on Saturday.

Chaoyang, accounting for the biggest share of cases in Beijing's current outbreak, stepped up measures to curb transmissions as it declared more neighbourhoods to be at risk.

People who had recently visited venues in such areas have received text messages telling them to stay put until they get their test results.

Additional apartment blocks were sealed and certain spas, KTV lounges, gyms, cinemas and libraries, and at least two shopping malls closed on Friday, while couriers and food delivery staff were refused entry to some residential compounds.

Beijing reported 49 cases on April 28, versus 50 the previous day.

Shanghai reported 52 new COVID-19 deaths on April 28, up from 47 a day earlier, the local government said on Friday.

It recorded 9545 new asymptomatic cases on April 28, versus 9,330 a day earlier, while symptomatic cases rose to 5487 from 1292.

While some delivery bottlenecks have been eased in the city, criticism of the government has continued to grow particularly over the subject of government food provisions.

Residents in some districts complain their rations have been less frequent than in others, taking to social media to compare deliveries.

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