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Beijing extends work-from-home order as COVID-19 cases rise

Beijing has extended orders for workers and students to stay home and ordered additional mass testing as COVID-19 cases rise again in the city

BEIJING — Beijing extended orders for workers and students to stay home and ordered additional mass testing on Monday as COVID-19 cases surged in the Chinese capital.

Many of the city’s residential compounds have restricted indoor and outdoor movement, though conditions remain far less severe than in Shanghai, where millions of citizens have been confined to varying degrees for two months.

Beijing on Monday reported an increase in new cases to 99, from a previous daily average of around 50. Two other districts, Shijingshan and Haidian, launched a work-from-home policy this week, bringing the total to six. In cases where people have to go to their offices, the number of workers is limited to 30% of the normal level.

About 550 of the new cases have been in Shanghai, where restrictions are only gradually being eased. The city reopened four of its 20 subway lines on Sunday, with trains operating on a reduced 20-minute schedule from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The number of new cases in China’s largest city has fallen below 1,000 for eight straight days, but outbreaks could still return in some areas, said Lei Zhenglong, deputy chief of disease control and prevention at the National Health Commission.

The reopening of transport links from Shanghai has created an exodus of migrant workers and others trapped by the lockdown. Of those who remain, some have been issued passes to leave their residential compounds or neighborhoods for a limited time to shop or take walks, while others remain confined to their buildings.

ABC News

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