Beijing life Faces Mass Lockdown Ahead of the Winter Olympics

By Keshav Vinod

Residents of Beijing are scrambling to cope with an abrupt lockdown and vigorous COVID-19 testing ahead of the Winter Olympics, which is scheduled to take place on February 2. These strict policies are a part of China’s “zero tolerance” COVID-19 policy when it comes to the Coronavirus and includes rapid testing for any individual who has bought medications pertaining to a cold, fever, or cough. 

These cold medications are monitored through a health app that have been installed on the phones of Chinese residents and require the user to swipe their information whenever they buy health products or just enter a pharmacy.

Recently, Beijing has seen a vast uptick in positive cases and has led to impose these new measures. So far, six Beijing Neighborhoods have been targeted for a lockdown ahead of a second round of mass testing. These measures serve to show how serious the government is regarding an outbreak during the run-up to the Olympics.

With the Olympics due to begin on Feb. 4 and support staff already arriving, the task has become even more critical. Athletes are required to test everyday while also isolating themselves from the general public. Out of the 3000 that have entered the capital since January 4, only 78 have tested positive.

Across China, more than 20 million people are in some form of lockdown, with many prevented from leaving their homes.

President Xi Jinping has stated that Beijing is ready to host the games and that after six years of preparation, Beijing is ready to host the coveted Winter Olympics.