Thousands confined in Beijing as coronavirus resurgence is described as 'extremely serious'

Marco Green
June 16, 2020

Earlier this month, the U.S. administration allegedly ordered a suspension of all flights by Chinese airlines to and from the country soon after Beijing prevented American carriers to resume services to China.

Viruses isolated from patients are identical with the ones collected from contaminated surfaces in the Xinfadi market, where the outbreak appears to have started, Wu said.

The Covid-19 cases in Beijing have jumped to 106, a senior city official said on Tuesday, warning that the situation is "extremely severe" in China's capital where the authorities have mounted massive containment measures including mass testing of about 90,000 people and lockdown around the wholesale market which reported the new infections.

The World Health Organization had already expressed concern about the cluster, pointing to Beijing's size and connectivity. The official, who is also deputy minister of the Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department, said the epidemic situation in Beijing remained "extremely severe".

As of Tuesday morning, 276 agricultural produce markets and 33,173 restaurants across the city had also been disinfected, officials said.

More than 76,000 nearby residents were tested on Sunday across nearly 300 testing points, authorities said, and strict measures have been put in place, including school closures, and transport suspensions, including ride-sharing and taxi services.

All indoor sports and entertainment venues in Beijing were ordered to shut on Monday, and some other cities across China warned they would quarantine those arriving from the capital.

The outbreak has also spread beyond Beijing, with the nearby provinces of Liaoning and Hubei reporting a total of eight coronavirus cases linked to the capital clusters.

Governments in many parts of China have imposed quarantine requirements on visitors from Beijing.

Beijing spokesman Xu said: "High-risk people who have left Beijing must inform local authorities immediately".

Officials had said Sunday that all cases of infection up until then had been linked to the Xinfadi market, which 200,000 people had visited since May 30.

Seven residential estates surrounding the market were also locked down. The NHC on Tuesday reported 40 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Monday of which 27 were reported in Beijing, four in Hebei Province, and one in Sichuan Province.

That makes it the most serious flare-up in China since February, stoking fears of a second-wave of the respiratory disease which emerged in the central city of Wuhan late a year ago and has now infected more than 8 million people worldwide.

According to the Global Times, the country's capital locked down more communities to contain the virus's spread that turned the capital city to a "no go zone" for other parts of China.

While the virus was detected on chopping boards used to handle imported salmon at Xinfadi, "it does not clearly or definitely indicate it's from imported seafood", Wu Zunyou, the body's chief epidemiologist, said in a CCTV interview.

Ryan said the United Nations agency was closely tracking the outbreak, has offered more technical help to China and was in close contact with the Beijing authorities as they seek to control it.

So far, nine out of 11 districts in the city have reported confirmed cases.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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