A Beijing man quarantined thousands of his neighbors when he ignored orders to stay home and later tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a police investigation.
The Chinese capital has ordered thousands of residents to stay home for the past five weeks to prevent its biggest coronavirus outbreak since the epidemic began.
Officials say a man in his 40s named Sun failed to comply with the requirement to isolate him after visiting a shopping center considered “high risk” on Sunday.
Beijing Public Security Officer Pan Juhong said, “During the break-up of the house, he … went out many times and walked around.”
Sun and his wife later tested positive, asking authorities to lock down their 5,000 neighbors at home and send 250 to a government quarantine center.
Authorities reopened parks, museums and cinemas in Beijing on Monday as virus restrictions began to be relaxed, and outbreaks were announced.
China is equipped with strict lockdown, mass testing and long quarantine period zero-COVID strategy to remove clusters as they grow.
There are severe penalties for violating the rules and Sun is now under police investigation.
Beijing’s Omicron-Fuel cluster has seen more than 1,700 infections since the end of April – a small number by global standards but problematic for China’s strict approach to the virus.
The number of cases has dropped sharply in the past week.
Beijing government spokesman Xu Hejian said on Sunday that “no new cases have been found in the society (outside the quarantine center) for two days.”
“The situation is stabilizing and improving … but the risk of a reversal still exists.”
Most bus, subway and taxi services in the capital’s three most populous districts resumed on Monday, and millions were told to return to work.
A handful of tai chi practitioners and locals were enjoying the calm weather in a reopened downtown park.
“I think people are waiting to see if there will be new cases before the large numbers come out,” said Zhi Ruo, a government employee who brought her five-year-old child out to play.
Schools are closed and Beijing still needs a negative COVID-19 test to enter public facilities, including supermarkets.
Shanghai, China’s commercial hub, has announced plans to reopen business from June 1 – almost two months after the citywide lockdown halted all economic activity.
The city will “remove unreasonable sanctions … and abandon approvals for work and production by enterprises,” Vice Mayor Wu Qing told a news briefing on Sunday.
Wu has announced a number of measures to shore up Shanghai’s virus-ravaged economy, including reducing property taxes, subsidizing gas and electricity for businesses, and ordering banks to lend more to small and medium-sized enterprises.
As Shanghai slowly began to reopen, residents were seen being allowed to leave the house for a few hours to have their hair cut and massaged on the sidewalk over the weekend.
The city reported 66 infections Monday, while Beijing reported 12.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)