Beijing: Chinese police dispel rumors of a blockade of Beijing

BEIJING: Chinese police are investigating a woman for allegedly fabricating “rumors.” Beijing will go into a three-day blockade, officials said on Friday after allegations on social media sparked panic buying across the capital.
China is deepening its strategy with zero Covid to eliminate clusters when they emerge, hitting hundreds of areas in Beijing with some form of restraint, including a firm blockade.
Residents rushed to supermarkets on Thursday to stock up on groceries as rumors spread that orders to stay home would be announced soon. Dinner outside has already stopped and many tourist attractions are closed.
But instead of blocking, officials announced a three-day mass test drive for most of the city on Thursday, telling residents they didn’t need to buy food in a panic.
Beijing police said in a statement on social media that they had launched an investigation into a woman named Yao.
The 38-year-old “fabricated and published the relevant rumors”, the statement said, adding that police had taken “coercive measures” against her – a broad term that could include detention, arrest or home surveillance.
Police said they had issued an “emergency notice” stating that a three-day “quiet period” would be announced at a press conference on Thursday, during which acceptance and deliveries would be suspended.
“This was launched through online social media platforms and spread widely, seriously disrupting social order,” the statement said.
Although no official blockade was announced, officials “advised” people to stay home and “reduce traffic” during the three-day testing period.
In many areas, taxi services in Beijing have stopped and subway stations have been closed, while parks have been closed and millions have been told to work from home.
AFP saw at least one community with additional gates and a loudspeaker that told people to “refrain from joining that community.”
Beijing residents fear they may face draconian measures similar to those in Shanghai who have kept most of their 25 million people at home for more than a month – after what was originally described as a one-day stop.
The Sofia police have also taken action against a 29-year-old man with a family name Chen the claim that more than 1,000 asymptomatic Covid patients roam the city’s Haidian neighborhood without masks, the same police statement said.
Authorities in Beijing on Friday reported 50 local cases of Covid, including eight asymptomatic.

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