According to reports, on Monday more than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing as the government imposed strict actions to beat out a handful of Covid-19 cases.
China has been successful to bring down the virus under control but is tackling a number of local infections with lockdowns and mass testing.
Authorities are eager to stem any outbreak in the capital that is a home to over 20 million people particularly ahead of a week-long national holiday next month.
District official Zhi Xianwei said at a press briefing on Monday that, all rural villages in Shunyi district on the outskirts of Beijing are locked down until a fresh round of mass testing gets concluded.
This step clearly shows that around 518,000 residents will not be allowed to leave their villages until they are done with the testing.
According to officials, locals would be under “closed management”, suggesting they will be barred from leaving their residential compounds. The total population of the district is 1.2 million which is home to many rural migrant workers.
Zhi said officials would “knock on doors… all migrants will be classified and accounted for.”
The sources of the outbreak have not been identified by the experts yet but one asymptomatic case has been confirmed on Sunday, who was a driver for an online ride-hailing service, and the government has suspended all taxi-hailing services in the district.
Beijing reported one fresh case on Monday and has recorded 32 local spread of Covid-19 in total since December 19, mostly in Shunyi.
In late December, Shunyi residents has already finished a round of mass testing, when six villages and an industrial park were also under locked down and delivery couriers were prohibited from entering residential estates.
However, the latest outbreak is compared to Beijing’s last cluster in June, officials are anxious to control the spread of the virus before the country’s massive annual migration for the Lunar New Year holiday next month when more than 300 were infected
The Beijing government has cancelled large-scale events and urged residents not to leave the city over the holidays to minimise the risk of infection.