China’s COVID-19 restrictions hit historic Beijing theater


BEIJING — Performances have been suspended at one among Beijing’s oldest and most famed theaters as a part of a recent wave of shop and restaurant closures in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases within the Chinese capital.

The Jixiang Theater within the downtown Wangfujing shopping district was originally inbuilt 1906 and recently moved to its present location on the eighth floor of a shopping center that also houses shops and a quick food restaurant. It’s famed for performances of Peking opera and other traditional art forms.

Performances were attributable to resume Nov. 27, but such dates for re-opening have often been prolonged.

China reported 24,263 recent cases Saturday, 515 of them in Beijing. The overwhelming majority were asymptomatic.

Despite that, lockdowns and other strict control measures have been put in place across the country, with many Beijing residents sent notices advising them not to depart home unless absolutely crucial.

Restaurants, malls and shops deemed non-essential have been closed and foot traffic in those still open was much reduced. Detection of a single case and even a detailed contact of an infected person can force the closure of a complete office constructing or apartment block.

Access to Beijing’s elite Peking University was suspended Wednesday. Individuals who visited a vegetable market in the town’s southeast where a case was found were ordered into quarantine in a hotel at their very own expense.

The southern metropolis of Guangzhou plans to construct quarantine facilities for nearly 250,000 people. Guangzhou, a city of 13 million people, is the most important of a series of hot spots across China with outbreaks since early October.

China’s infection numbers are low compared with the US and other major countries, however the ruling Communist Party is attempting to isolate every case under its “zero-COVID” policy.

Repeated closures of neighborhoods, schools and businesses are fueling public frustration and clashes with medical examiners.

The policy can be inflicting major damage to the economy and global supply chains. Access to a Zhengzhou industrial zone that’s home to the world’s biggest iPhone factory was suspended this month following outbreaks. Apple Inc. said deliveries of its recent iPhone 14 model can be delayed after staff fled. Local authorities have called for low-level party officials and even military recruits to fill their places, in response to reports.

The cruel measures come at the same time as the national government tries to cut back the impact of anti-disease controls which have confined hundreds of thousands of individuals to their homes, resulting in mixed messages and adding to confusion and anger.

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