Beijing unveils new COVID-19 measures ahead of Olympics

Beijing is unveiling new COVID-19 measures as China’s capital city prepares to host the Winter Olympics next month.

People residing in the Fengtai District underwent COVID-19 testing on Sunday after locally transmitted cases were identified in the province, according to Reuters. District health authorities also said they would organize nucleic acid COVID-19 tests for all residents.

Roughly 2 million people live in the Fengtai District, according to The Associated Press.

The government is also requesting that individuals living in “risk areas,” including Fengtai, do not depart from the city, Reuters reported, citing a local government spokesman. Residents of Fengtai were also reportedly asked to stay away from mass gatherings.

Beijing identified nine new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, according to Reuters, six of which were found in Fengtai. China recorded 56 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, which was seven fewer than the day before.

The city is also asking its residents to get tested for COVID-19 if they start developing symptoms of the virus within 14 days of receiving any deliveries from other countries, Reuters noted. Health officials in the capital have said that the first omicron variant cases reported in the city may have come through international mail from Canada.

Beijing reported its first locally transmitted case of the strain earlier this month.

The Winter Olympics are set to begin on Feb. 4 and run until Feb. 20, with athletes from a number of countries traveling to Beijing for the Games. Beijing has already imposed a number of COVID-19 mitigation measures to tame the spread of the virus next month, such as requiring new arrivals to get tested and halting ticket sales to the general public.

China has also said the Olympic torch relay will be limited to three days.

A number of countries, including the U.S., have announced diplomatic boycotts of the Games, pointing to human rights abuses in China.