Residents worry as Beijing ramps up COVID quarantines

STORY: "I am, in fact, more worried now. (Beijing should) try not to be like Shanghai," a 60-year-old resident told Reuters, adding that families who have to look after the elderly are facing great challenges and inconvenience.

As part of the nation's zero-COVID policy, around 1,800 people in one city neighborhood were relocated to Zhangjiakou city in the nearby Hebei province for quarantine, the state-backed Beijing Daily reported. Meanwhile, 11 of Beijing's 16 districts have issued work-from-home instructions of varying degrees of severity, while public transport across the capital has been reduced and some shopping malls and other venues closed.

23-year-old Beijing resident, Zhang Yiying told Reuters he felt like there was nothing to do when he left the house:

"Although we are still very free, we can go out if you are not in the risk control area. But when I come out, there is nothing to do and no place to have fun. Life is still very boring, even if not all the places are under lockdown, it is no different from being quarantined at home."

Since late April, the city of 22 million has wrestled with dozens of new cases a day. While these have been mostly in quarantine areas, a handful have been found in the community at large, illustrating the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant and the challenges that poses to the world's most stringent of pandemic containment policies.