Beijing’s spokesperson Xu Hejian said on May 19 that the pandemic situation is still serious and complicated, with several outbreaks occurring one after another. Previously, the city officials turned down rumors that Beijing would be locked down. He told residents not to stock up on food.

However, the city spokesperson said it’s necessary to unswervingly promote the social dynamic-clearing action. In this regard, Korean current affairs commentator Lee Muyang said Xu Hejian might hight that Beijing is going for Shanghai’s Covid-prevention policy.

The commentator received information from a Chinese resident saying that the area around Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts has been sealed off with grids. People were not allowed to walk freely. They can only observe it from the community gate. Lee analyzed that because the National Theatre area is the most central location in Beijing, it is impossible not to close the rest of Beijing if it is sealed here.

Although Beijing authorities have not officially closed the city, the residents are still afraid of a scenario like Shanghai. People here have been hoarding food supply weeks before Xu Hejian’s announcement. Another video on May 13 shows that worker were sealing off some residential areas.

A video circulated on May 17 shows a group of prevention staff in hazmat suits disinfecting a street in Beijing.

Up to now, Beijing has 14 high-risk areas and 29 medium-risk areas.

From April 22 to May 19, Beijing has reported nearly 1300 COVID-19 cases. Chaoyang (朝阳) District and Fangshan (房山) District are the two hardest-hit areas in this round of COVID-19.

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