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Beijing Tests Shoppers Buying Fever Drugs to Root Out Covid

  • Anyone buying common medications must take test in 72 hours
  • Chinese city tests garlic sprout for Covid amid fear of spread
Covid-19 testing in the Fengtai District in Beijing on Jan. 23.
Covid-19 testing in the Fengtai District in Beijing on Jan. 23.Photographer: Gao Zehong/VCG/Getty Images
Updated on

China’s capital is requiring anyone who buys commonly available anti-fever medicine to undergo Covid-19 testing, as authorities try to root out undetected virus infections without locking down the country’s most important city and host of next week’s Winter Olympics.

Beijing residents who purchase antipyretics, antivirals and drugs that target coughs and sore throats will get an alert on the mobile app China uses for contact tracing and which is frequently checked to allow entry to public venues. The buyer will then need to take a Covid test within 72 hours or face movement restrictions, the Beijing Municipal Health Commission said on Sunday.