Beijing in lockdown as China hits COVID-19 case record

As cases of COVID-19 hit record daily highs in China, the country is reimposing a range of strict measures under its “zero-COVID” policy, including lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines for anyone suspected of having come into contact with the virus.

Wednesday’s 31,444 reported COVID-19 infections broke a record set back on April 13, when Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, was in a two-month lockdown.

The new restrictions cover cities and towns from the southern manufacturing center of Guangzhou to Beijing in the north.

While measures imposed in the Chinese capital have been less draconian than in other areas, normal life in the city has been severely disrupted, with no word yet on when restrictions will be lifted.

Along with the closure of hundreds of shops, restaurants, malls and office buildings, residential compounds have been sealed off to different degrees of severity. In some cases, all outside visitors and delivery people are banned, leaving residents to collect items at the gate. Authorities have issued notices asking residents not to leave home unless absolutely necessary or to buy groceries and seek medical help.

Beijing life in lockdown

Workers wearing face masks install metal barriers in a locked-down neighborhood on Thursday.

(Andy Wong/The Associated Press)

An epidemic control worker wears a protective suit as he sits in front of a barrier fence in an area under lockdown.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A worker in a protective suit sprays disinfectant as residents stand in line for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site.

(Andy Wong/The Associated Press)

Security personnel wear masks as they stand outside a luxury department store that remained open in Beijing’s central business district.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A delivery worker picks up goods at a logistics station of an online grocery platform on Wednesday.

(Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

A taxi driver wearing a face mask waits for customers near lines of unused shared bicycles on Wednesday.

(Andy Wong/The Associated Press)

People ride bikes on an unusually quiet street on Thursday.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A man walks alone up an overpass near a nearly empty street close to the city’s business district.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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