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Beijing preps COVID-19 hospital facilities, orders more testing


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Beijing is preparing new hospital facilities to deal with its COVID-19 surge. 

State media reported Tuesday that a 1,000-bed hospital at Xiaotangshan, built for the 2003 SARS outbreak, has been refurbished, and city officials said Saturday that they were setting up a 10,000-bed quarantine facility in the China National Exhibition Center.

According to The Associated Press, reports have largely disappeared and while new cases have remained steady, the numbers are low. 

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Beijing authorities said there were another 62 cases on Tuesday. 

The Chinese capital has reported approximately 450 cases during the two-week-long outbreak. 

Home to 21 million, Beijing has already ordered multiple rounds of mass testing.

Three more rounds of testing have been ordered starting Tuesday and a negative test result obtained within the previous 48 hours is required to gain entry to most public spaces.

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To mitigate the spread, some communities have been locked down. 

Last week, Beijing’s Education Bureau ordered all schools to end classes; it hadn’t been determined when they would resume.

It was not clear whether the schools would be able to offer virtual classes or allow students taking crucial exams to return. 

Beijing has ordered restaurants and gyms closed for the May Day national holiday that runs through Wednesday.

Additionally, some major tourist sites in the city, including the Forbidden City and the Beijing Zoo, will close their indoor exhibition halls starting Tuesday.

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While China has stuck to a “zero-COVID” approach, Beijing has not yet implemented sweeping citywide measures.

All of this comes as Shanghai is slowly beginning to ease lockdown restrictions that have confined most of the city’s 26 million people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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