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Panic in Beijing Ensues as Citizens Fear a Shanghai-style Lockdown

The amount of Covid-19 cases and deaths have been decreasing following the creation of vaccines in 2021. This trend does not seem to apply to the citizens of China, where the number of infected people continues to rise rapidly.

The city of Shanghai in China is currently under what some refer to as a “sudden lockdown,” which began around late March due to the more than 400,000 cases recorded. Among those, 100 died.

The sudden lockdown is part of China's zero-tolerance of Covid-19 policy. As part of the lockdown, Citizens have not been allowed to leave their homes, and even those authorized to do so have limited locations to which they can go. Other measures include setting up green barricades to prevent residents from leaving their homes and evacuating people from their homes to force them to go through disinfection procedures.

This heavy lockdown is the people of Beijing’s biggest fear. The number of infected citizens in Beijing noticeably increased on Tuesday, April 26th when 33 citizens tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, the city’s 20 million people are all to undergo Covid-19 tests, in a bid to curb the growth of the coronavirus outbreak and prevent a lockdown. The testing officially began on Monday, in Chaoyang, the most populous district in the city. This week, ten other districts were also to be tested, effectively testing about 16 million citizens out of 20 million.

Plans for eradicating the virus are even more frantic because of the Communist Party meeting to be held in autumn, to determine whether president Xi Jinping will hold a third term in office.

Closed-off roads and apartments can be seen from the videos and reports on the local news as the authorities declare ‘‘“targeted lockdowns”’’ on areas where citizens were found positive. Residents can be seen in long lines all over Chaoyang, waiting to be tested.

Citizens are in a worried frenzy as they rush to various supermarkets and stores, trying to stock up for what they believe will soon be a lockdown similar to that of Shanghai, where citizens have not been able to leave their homes for weeks.

Some citizens have also taken to social media to show clips of what their life has become, posting pictures of empty grocery stores in Beijing where various foodstuffs are running low. Online shopping has also increased, and platforms selling fresh produce have been instructed by the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau to increase their delivery staff and inventory.

Authorities had closed some gyms, tourist areas, and theaters on Tuesday, the day the testing began in Chaoyang. Tongzhou district has also instructed parents to remove their children from school, with a homeschool program already in place indefinitely.

Shanghai residents are also posting advice on social media to their friends in Beijing on surviving a likely quarantine by preparing lists for them and even arguing about what foods are the best to have handy.

A viral joke is making its rounds on social media, stating that Shanghai is on lockdown waiting for supplies, while Beijing has stocked up and is waiting for a lockdown. Other cities apart from Shanghai and Beijing are also observing various protocols to try to curb the spread of the virus, In some places like Sanya, which is located in the south, residents can’t leave or enter without a negative Covid-19 test less than 48 hours old. Twenty other cities in China apart from Shanghai are also under lockdown.

The wait for a lockdown in Beijing is keeping its residents and others who will be affected at the edge of their seats.


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