China announced mandatory Covid testing in Beijing’s Chaoyang district alongside lockdowns of several areas of the city as the country tries to prevent another situation like the one currently taking place in Shanghai, which has been in lockdown for weeks, reports Bloomberg. Worries that the country’s strict Covid Zero policies, which rely on lockdowns and mass testing, will derail economic growth dragged down oil and iron ore prices on Monday morning. The moves follow a selloff in Chinese markets last week that sent the offshore yuan to a one-year low.
Beijing, a city of more than 20 million people, has locked down dozens of residential compounds and told inhabitants of the eastern district of Chaoyang to be tested three times this week after dozens of infections were found over the weekend. The Chinese capital has warned of more cases in coming days, with city government spokesman Xu Hejian saying late on Friday that the current outbreak is “complex and stealthy” while vowing to take further measures to prevent its spread.
The flareup comes as Shanghai reported a record number of fatalities and imposed stricter rules to try and stamp out infections. The twin outbreaks in two of China’s most significant cities is swiftly turning into an unprecedented test for President Xi Jinping, who is likely to seek a third five-year term during a Communist Party congress later this year.