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Covid-19 Security Controls Tightened

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BEIJING – As the dates draw closer for the most important political gathering in China – the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) – security and COVID-19 control measures, especially in the capital city of Beijing, have been ramped up.

The week-long political gathering, held once every five years, will convene at the vast Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square from Oct 16.

This writer, who has been in Beijing since July, will also be covering the event that will showcase CPC’s road map for the next five years and beyond – a key period in realising national rejuvenation.

As security measures are part and parcel of such an important gathering, this writer observed there were more policemen on the streets and some minor disruptions to the transportation system.

Being at night (Image by: Hendry Chen – Unsplash)

Among the most tightly controlled areas are nearby government facilities located near Tiananmen Square, apart from close by neighbourhoods, tourist sites, markets, and Wangfujing, Sanlitun, and Qianmen streets.

Several subway stations, too, have been closed for the past few weeks, especially in important areas near government buildings or places where people gather such as in Qianmen, Tiananmen East, and Tiananmen West.

Some had to disembark at the nearest subway station and ride on bicycles, walk or take cabs to their final destination.

At Beijing’s bus, train and metro stations, police and security personnel undoubtedly have additional security screening procedures.

In terms of COVID-19 measures, although a 72-hour result of a COVID-19 test is required for anyone to be in public areas, many places currently require test results within 24 hours. If a person’s Health Kit system record indicates the person has visited a risky place, they will be asked to take a test every day for three consecutive days.

The congress will be conducted in a closed manner, where delegates are restricted to hotels, accommodations and venues only, and cannot meet outsiders.

At the CPC Congress, President Xi Jinping is expected to secure his third term and solidify his position as the country’s most potent leader since Mao Zedong.

A total of 2,296 delegates have been elected to attend the congress. In addition to setting national policy goals, the congress will elect a new CPC Central Committee, the party’s top leadership, and a new CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

​Meanwhile, the press centre for the CPC Congress at Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing was officially opened on Wednesday to provide services for journalists covering the congress with very strict checks carried out before anyone entered the centre.

Those having travelled to any medium or high-risk area or any county with new locally transmitted cases or having close contact with COVID-19 confirmed cases or asymptomatic cases within 10 days before registration cannot participate in the coverage or need to undergo further COVID-19 screening. – BERNAMA

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