Beijing on alert amid world virus resurgence

BEIJING: Amid a global COVID-19 resurgence and the approaching cold winter that increases the occurrence of respiratory diseases, as well as a recent flare-up in Qingdao, Beijing has stepped up management of overseas arrivals and enhanced testing capacity to tackle the risk of a second wave.
At a Wednesday press conference on epidemic control, Beijing officials announced strict management of international arrivals to the capital, including three tests — before departure, at Chinese customs and after finishing a quarantine period. Some 34 hotels have been opened for medical observation for people who entered the capital after September 3, when the city resumed some international flights.
City officials also warned residents not to travel outside China and vowed to strictly prevent passengers from third countries making transfers from other places to Beijing. Enhancing monitoring and disinfection of imported food transported in cold chains will also be emphasized. The risk of a large outbreak is low in Beijing as the city has been on high alert and is even more cautious as winter approaches, Wang Peiyu, deputy head of Peking University’s School of Public Health, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Experts noted that strict precautions against imported infections are vital as the international resurgence of the coronavirus, and the high occurrence of respiratory diseases in winter, may pose danger to the metropolis.
Europe, which had tamed the coronavirus in past months, is facing a surge of infections, with an average of more than 100,000 cases a day, filling hospital beds and driving up death tolls.
Besides the shadow of imported infections, a recent outbreak in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province also alerted Beijing, which has traced five close contacts and 15 secondary contacts related to Qingdao patients.
A community worker at a residential compound in Chaoyang district told the Global Times on Thursday that after the infection in Qingdao, the compound was asked to heighten attention to people returning from other cities. “But I felt that the public knows how to deal with the new normal, and buy groceries and do exercises as usual,” the worker said. People had taken off their masks outdoors but many wore them again recently since the Qingdao outbreak, she said, adding that the sudden drop in temperature was another factor.
– The Daily Mail-Global Times News exchange item