Beijing plans to test thousands of people after four new Covid-19 cases were found in the suburban district on Friday, as a new outbreak prompts school closures and flight cancellations across the country.
China has maintained a staunch zero-Covid strategy with strict border closures, lengthy quarantines and targeted lockdowns.
But the world’s most populous country is now scrambling to reduce infections by dozens of provinces.
The latest flare-up has sparked a flurry of orders for the grounding of hundreds of flights, the closure of scenic areas and schools, and stay-at-home orders in affected housing compounds.
The outbreak was traced to an elderly couple who were in a group of domestic tourists who flew from Shanghai to Xi’an, Gansu province and Inner Mongolia.
Dozens of cases have since been linked to his travels, with close contacts in at least five provinces and territories – including sparsely populated Inner Mongolia and the capital Beijing.
In response, authorities in northwestern Beijing’s Changping district have intensified contact tracing and tightened Covid safety protocols, state media reported on Friday, testing 35,000 people.
On Monday, disease-hit Ehrenhot in Inner Mongolia banned travel in and out of the city and ordered residents to stay at home, while an outbreak in Aijin County prompted authorities to close tourist sites earlier this week. and prompted the travel ban.
State-owned tabloid Global Times warned on Wednesday that cases in Inner Mongolia could worsen supply chain disruptions and hamper coal imports from neighboring Mongolia.
China reported 28 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Thursday, 15 more than the previous day, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Friday.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)