Beijing's Fangshan district to enforce work from home after cluster infections

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Beijing's Fangshan district to enforce work from home after cluster infections

The Fangshan district, home to 1.3 million people, will strictly enforce work from home measures for all local residents, suspending all bus, subway and car hailing services after health officials discovered eight cluster infections related to a bank, a railway construction company, a bus station and restaurants in the city, which has added to the uncertainty of the already complex epidemic situation. In the past 24 hours, Beijing reported 40 new infections, including three detected during mass community level nucleic acid testing. A total of 1,015 COVID 19 patients have been received by designated hospitals in the capital since April 22, said Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Government, at Saturday's press conference. A cluster infection related to an express company's Fangshan branch was immediately red flagged, as 16 cases had already been found. The risk level of the area where the company is located has been upgraded to high risk for contracting COVID - 19. Beijing authorities asked the departments to strengthen anti-epidemic management for couriers, decoration workers, security guards, cleaners, and other mobile groups, while lowering the density of population living in collective housing. Fangshan pledged to take the most stringent and decisive measures to curb the spread of the disease and prevent spillovers. All people in sealed off areas of the district will be restricted from going outside, with sensors placed on doors of households. Nucleic acid and antigen sampling will be given once a day to the doors. Three new cases were reported at a data center in Shunyi district of the Beijing Rural Commercial Bank, making the total infection number related to the bank to 37, including 26 staffers, apart from the cluster infection at the courier service station. At the press conference, officials announced the responsibility for the cluster infection of the bank, saying there remained loopholes in work-from- home arrangements, the employee arrival rate and workstation layout. The attendance rate of all enterprises in the district should not exceed 50 percent, according to a notice issued by the Shunyi district on May 4. From May 5th to May 7th, the arrival rates of the company were 69 percent, 74 percent and 76 percent, all exceeding the 50 percent benchmark. A bureau under the China Railway Construction Corporation CRCC in Beijing reported eight new cases, all of which were management and control personnel, taking the number of related infections to 49 and covering four districts in Beijing. Qian Guilin, deputy secretary of the disciplinary department with the CRCC, said at the press conference that the bureau has loopholes in epidemic prevention and control measures taken and has a negative impact on capital's epidemic preventions. Six officials from the 11th bureau of CRCC were held accountable for cluster infections, including the board chairman, vice general manager, and leader of the epidemic prevention and control team.