China Requires Those Buying Some Medicines to Take COVID Test Within 72 Hours

Chinese authorities have chosen to test millions of people and impose new restrictions, including requiring testing after buying certain medicines, in order to curb infections.

With the Winter Olympics in Beijing less than two weeks away, a cluster of COVID-19 infections have authorities testing and isolating millions, as well as imposing new restrictions on those traveling and announced that anyone who bought cough, fever or other medicines in the past two weeks is required to take a COVID test within 72 hours, the Associated Press reported.

Officials are also conducting a second round of mass testing in Fengtai, a district of two million, where most of the positive cases are found. Since January 15, Fengtai has had 40 cases. Other cities that reported infections include Anyang, Dalian, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Xi'an, according to CNBC.

China has a "dynamic zero-COVID-19" policy, which helps authorities contain any new cases by contact tracing, quick testing, isolation and instating lockdowns that they hope will block the spread of the virus.

While China's number of new cases has been falling since Xi'an's massive outbreak, there have been relatively small numbers of Omicron or Delta infections, AP reported.

At the peak of Xi'an's outbreak, China saw 100 new infection per day, AP reported. On Sunday, 18 cases were recorded, six of which were in Beijing, where the Winter Olympics are being held. Measures and mandates are put in place for the Olympics to protect athletes, officials, reporters and staff.

Olympic athletes are required to be vaccinated or test negative and undergo quarantine upon arriving in China. Everyone involved in the Olympics are supposed to isolate from the general public, and athletes will be tested every day and be completely isolated from the public.

China originally placed into effect a 21-day quarantine for those arriving in China from abroad but lifted the mandate for those coming for the Olympics as long as they test negative.

"The current epidemic prevention situation is still grim and complicated and all departments across the city must act proactively and swiftly," Beijing city spokesperson Xu Hejian said, according to AP. "The overall situation is controllable."

China COVID Testing
With the Winter Olympics less than two weeks away, Chinese authorities have chosen to test millions of people and impose new restrictions, including requiring testing after buying certain medicines, in order to curb infections. Above, health workers in protective suits register people for nucleic acid tests to detect COVID-19 at a mass testing site on January 24, 2022, in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images