BEIJING (AP) – Beijing is on high alert after 10 middle school students tested positive for COVID-19 in what city officials said was an initial test round.
City officials suspended classes at the school for a week after the positive test results on Friday. The Chinese capital also reported four other confirmed cases on the day spoken separately.
The Chinese mainland on Saturday reported 24,326 new socially transmitted infections, with the vast majority of them asymptomatic cases in Shanghai, where the enforcement of a strict “zero-COVID” strategy has attracted global attention.
China has doubled its approach even to the highly portable omicron variant. The zero-COVID policy averted many deaths and widespread outbreaks when faced with less transferable variants through mass testing and strict shutdowns where people could not leave their homes.
But recent developments in Shanghai have led some to question whether the strategy is worth considering. Many residents of the city have struggled to get adequate food supplies during a shutdown this month, while some were also unable to get medication or medical attention. Some elderly people died after an outbreak at a hospital led to medical staff being quarantined.
The country is now facing its worst outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic in the central city of Wuhan.
Local media reported that in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, the government ordered the suspension of personal after-school activities and classes. The city council is now conducting a round of mass tests to look for more cases.
In Shanghai, city officials reported 12 new deaths Saturday, all elderly patients with underlying diseases.