Mass isolation centre reopened in heart of China’s capital as China continues to fight COVID-19 spread

A health care worker disinfects a wholesale market in Beijing. Image: Xinhua.

DHARAMSALA, 4 May: China has reopened “a mass isolation centre” in Beijing as authorities seek to contain an outbreak of Covid-19 in the city, the Guardian reported.

Citing the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, the report said Xiaotangshan Fangcai hospital has been reopened as a precaution, describing the battle against the Omicron spread as a chess game.

One isolation unit was already operating, with 40 medical personnel treating 12 people with asymptomatic or mild cases, the Beijing Municipal Health Commission has said in a statement.

The hospital with 1,200 beds and testing facilities, was first opened during the 2003 Sars epidemic before it was used again in early 2020 to treat Covid patients, the report said.

According to the report, the reopening of the mass isolation centre “signals a ramp-up in efforts by China’s capital to manage the rising number of cases without going into a city-wide lockdown” as cases continue to surge across China.

And that the “Beijing authorities appear to be hoping they acted early enough to avoid a Shanghai-style crisis,” the report noted. 

Additionally, Beijing has also closed around 10% of its vast subway system and 158 bus routes as an additional measure against the spread of coronavirus.

According to media reports, China reported 5,489 cases on Wednesday mostly from Shanghai (4,982) with Beijing accounting for 46 symptomatic cases and five asymptomatic, bringing the city’s total since the start of its Omicron outbreak to about 400.

As China battles the spread of COVID-19, Beijing, home to 2.15 crore people joins dozens of other big cities across China in full or partial lockdown.

At present, around 21 crore people in 26 cities are reportedly under full or partial lockdowns across China.

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