Beijing preparing 1,000-bed hospital as capital deals with spike in COVID-19 cases

todayMay 3, 2022

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A 1,000-bed hospital is being prepared in Beijing as the city tries to deal with a spike in COVID-19 cases, state media reported today.

The new facility in Xiaotangshan in the northeastern suburbs, which was built for the 2003 SARS outbreak, is now being refurbished in case of an emergency, even though the numbers of new cases in the capital remain low.

Unofficial reports online claim thousands of beds have been prepared in a centralised quarantine centre near the airport, but state media has not confirmed those preparations.

The move comes as China’s capital fights its latest wave of infections, which has seen around 450 cases in the last two weeks.

Another 62 cases were recorded on Monday,  with 11 of them showing no symptoms – up just slightly from about 50 per day over the weekend.

Last Friday, all schools in Beijing were told to close by the region’s Education Bureau as the city tried to stop a wider COVID-19 outbreak.

Beijing also ordered restaurants and gyms to close for the May Day national holiday that runs until Wednesday, while major tourist sites in the city, including the Forbidden City and the Beijing Zoo, closed their indoor exhibition halls on Tuesday.

People were also seen stockpiling food supplies as the city of 21 million underwent mass testing last week.

As the strict restrictions continue, experts have questioned the usefulness of China’s hardline policy, saying vaccines and new treatments for COVID-19 make them redundant.


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todayMay 3, 2022

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