Beijing introduced new Covid-19 curbs on Saturday to stamp out a “serious” outbreak as the Chinese capital maintains its strict zero-tolerance policy, with less than 100 days before it hosts the Winter Olympics.
China’s leading epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said Saturday that authorities could contain a nationwide outbreak within a month — but also warned the “pandemic cannot be eradicated within a short period of time”.
The outbreak has hit at least 14 of China’s provinces and millions have been tested in the past week.
The situation is “serious and complex” and the epidemic “is still developing rapidly”, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, told a press conference Saturday.
In Beijing, authorities ordered all cinemas closed until November 14 in the capital’s Xicheng district, which lies west of Tiananmen Square and is home to over a million people.
China announced 59 locally transmitted virus cases Saturday — the highest since mid-September — including two cases in Beijing linked to a tourist group infected in the north of the country.