军舰

Beijing counters outbreak with resilience

Release time:2022-05-06 Publisher:South Asia Development

Beijing is going all out to curb the COVID-19 outbreak while residents are adjusting to new situations in the battle against the Omicron variant of the disease.

On Thursday, the first workday after the five-day May Day holiday, many residents in Beijing cycled to work because of the impact on public transportation. Chen Miao, 32, who lives in Chaoyang district, cycled about 9 kilometers to the nearest station that is still open and took the subway to her workplace. Packing up her laptop and some working materials in the office, she will be working from home starting on Friday.

The city's traffic commission said more than 60 subway stations on 14 subway lines have been closed since Wednesday. Up to 389 bus stops were affected, since 63 bus lines have halted operations and 48 have changed routes to lower the risk of infection in locked-down and controlled zones in Chaoyang.

The Beijing municipal government wrote a letter of thanks to all residents in the capital on Thursday, saying that Beijing is now facing the most complicated and severe epidemic, and that people, including medical staff, community workers, police officers, volunteers and every resident, have shown their effort and support, and even sacrificed to halt the virus.

"The city government is confident of winning this battle against the outbreak," the letter said.

Chaoyang is the hardest-hit area in Beijing during the outbreak and reported 220 cases by 3 pm on Thursday. To help stop the spread of the disease, many people were asked to work from home.

"State-owned organizations, institutions and enterprises, as well as large-scale companies in Chaoyang and other locked-down, controlled and precautionary zones in the city, should keep more than half of their employees working from home," Tian Wei, an information officer, told a news conference on Thursday.

Other staff members in commercial and office buildings in the affected areas should all work from home, he added. Employees in urban operation, public service and epidemic control and prevention will continue their work.

Employees who work from home should not be paid lower than the standard of Beijing's minimum wage, he said. In addition, service companies, small and micro businesses, and individually owned businesses that rent State-owned property will be exempted from rent.

Beijing reported 39 new locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases between 3 pm on Wednesday and 3 pm on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 544 since April 22 across 15 districts, the latest case tally showed.

Of these, 38 were reported from controlled zones and one from universal community testing, Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said on Thursday.