World

Beijing reports 3 new coronavirus cases, lifts some lockdowns

BEIJING: Beijing lifted several lockdowns imposed to control a fresh coronavirus outbreak and reported just three new cases in the city yesterday, down from 19 a day earlier, raising hopes that the cluster had been brought under control.

The Chinese capital had closed off dozens of residential compounds and carried out mass testing last month after hundreds of infections raised fears of a virus resurgence.

But five residential communities that have had no new virus cases during a control period were released from lockdown on Tuesday, state media reported, as the city relaxed curbs.

Seven other Beijing communities saw their lockdowns lifted last Friday.

The vast majority of cases have been linked to the sprawling Xinfadi market that supplies about 80 per cent of Beijing's fresh produce and meat, sparking concern about food safety.

State media outlet China News reported that the lockdown of five communities in the hard-hit Fengtai district was lifted, and disease control experts would propose a plan for removing restrictions on another seven in the area surrounding the market.

But the report said even the communities freed from lockdown would have to "strictly implement closed management", with non-residents unable to enter the compounds.

Communities will also issue entry passes for residents.

As of June 30, mainland China had a total of 83,534 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said. China's death toll from the coronavirus remained at 4,634.

In a separate development, Tokyo confirmed 67 new cases of coronavirus infection yesterday, marking the highest daily tally in the Japanese capital since the state of emergency was lifted in late May, public broadcaster NHK reported. It was also the sixth straight day in which Tokyo had confirmed more than 50 cases, NHK said.

Despite this, Tokyo Disney Resort welcomed visitors for the first time in four months yesterday, with fans practising social distancing. Visitors in face masks queuing on floor marks clapped as the gates reopened, and were encouraged to clean hands, pay without cash and avoid screaming.

The resort will operate at a 50 per cent capacity for now, and parades and shows remain suspended. - AFP, REUTERS

WORLD