Gov’t Locks Down Office Bldgs

Gov’t Locks Down Office Bldgs In Beijing, Shanghai

CHINA – The authorities have locked down office buildings and residential developments in Beijing and Shanghai, where COVID-19 cases have been detected, reported The Associated Press on Tuesday morning (15 January, SGT).

“Every day when I go to work, I worry that if our office building will suddenly be locked down then I won’t be able to get home, so I have bought a sleeping bag and stored some fast food in the office in advance, just in case,” said Yimeng Li, a resident in Shanghai.

In particular, Beijing reported six news cases, Shanghai with 41, while other provinces and cities along China’s east coast and inland registered hundreds of new cases. Overall, China’s National Health Commission recorded 1,337 local cases in the latest 24-hr period across dozens of mainland Chinese cities, including 895 in the industrial province of Jilin

Although the new numbers of infected people are low compared to those seen in many other countries as well as in Hong Kong, they are the highest since the pandemic killed thousands of people in the central city of Wuhan in early-2020. Still, no fatalities have been reported in the latest COVID outbreaks.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong registered 26,908 new cases and 249 deaths in its latest 24-hour period. Notably, the Chinese territory counts its cases differently than mainland China as it combines both rapid antigen tests and PCR test results.

In total, Hong Kong has seen over 700,000 COVID-19 infections and roughly 4,200 fatalities, most of them over the past 3 weeks.

The city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government does not intend to tighten COVID-related curbs for now, as there is limited room to do so, with the global financial hub already having imposed the most draconian measures since the onset of the pandemic.

“I have to consider whether the public, whether the people would accept further measures,” she told the media.

“The government has to be very careful before tightening social distancing measures further… with the need to consider the mental health of citizens,” Lam added.

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