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Beijing urges people to stay home but denies lockdown

China says it would 'strictly limit' unnecessary travel outside the country

People line up to enter a supermarket amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the Chaoyang district of Beijing on May 12. Panic buying ensued as residents fear a lockdown.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) -- Beijing denied it was heading for lockdown as panic buying gripped the capital on Thursday, while Shanghai combed the city for lingering COVID-19 cases in the hope of clearing the way to escape from weeks of painful restrictions.

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