22.8 C
Brunei
Friday, December 9, 2022
22.8 C
Brunei
Friday, December 9, 2022
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    Beijing marathon returns

    BEIJING (AP) – Thousands of runners took to the streets of China’s capital yesterday for the return of the Beijing marathon after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus.

    Authorities are trying to restore a sense of normalcy while sticking to a “zero-COVID” strategy that locks down neighbourhoods when any virus cases are found and quarantines everyone arriving from overseas in hotels for seven to 10 days.

    The mood was upbeat at the Beijing marathon. Participation was limited to city residents, apart from some invited runners. China’s state media said that 30,000 people took part.

    They had to be vaccinated, not leave Beijing for seven days before the event and show proof of a negative virus test in the previous 24 hours.

    Marathons are also planned later this month in Shanghai and Chengdu, a major city in southwestern China.

    The death toll has been relatively low in China – 5,226 by the official count – and most people can move about relatively freely within their cities with little chance of contracting COVID-19.

    But lockdowns of residential complexes and even larger areas can happen anytime, with little or no warning.

    There is also the inconvenience of having to get a throat swab test every few days to be allowed to enter office buildings, shopping malls and other public places. And people who leave Beijing risk not being allowed to return for a week if an outbreak occurs where they travelled to.

    A spectator waves a national flag as runners compete in the Beijing Marathon in Beijing. PHOTO: AP
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