Beijing’s Municipal Health Committee reported 27 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday – raising the total from five days to 106 after an outbreak in Xinfadi, the city’s largest wholesale food market.
The extensive, bustling market in southwestern Beijing’s Fengtai district covers 277 acres and has more than 2,000 stalls selling mainly fruits and vegetables, as well as meat and seafood. It supplies about 70% of the city’s vegetables and 10% of pork, according to officials.
The market closed on Saturday, but its sheer size and the number of people working or visiting there in and out of Beijing have increased the risk of the epidemic spreading.
Through door-to-door visits and calls, authorities have located nearly 200,000 people who had gone to the market during the two weeks before its closure. They have been told to stay home for medical follow-up and are being tested for coronavirus, a city official told a news conference on Monday.
Two other food markets in Beijing have closed due to confirmed cases linked to Sinfadi, resulting in strict house blockades in their area.
On Tuesday, the Xicheng district – which is adjacent to Fengtai – announced that seven residential communities around the Tiantao Honglian market would be locked after a Koran case was discovered on Sunday.
This follows similar interventions in residential facilities near Xinfadi and the Yuquandong market in the Haidian area. In total, 29 residential communities have been locked across the city.
Home lock measures are similar to those imposed earlier in the city of Wuhan, the original focus of the coronavirus epidemic.
Wang Du, who lives in one of the communities locked near the Yuquandong market, said residents could not leave the complex to buy groceries and had to order food online or buy from a truck came to the band once a day with potatoes, fresh vegetables and eggs.
She said yesterday that all the residents in her community had nucleic acid tests for coronavirus.
“To be honest, I’m not too worried,” he said. “I think we have a lot of experience in restrictive measures and we are able to react very quickly (to the new epidemic).”
As of Tuesday morning, 276 agricultural markets and 33,173 restaurants across the city had also been disinfected, officials said.
Outbound travel is limited
The blast has spread beyond Beijing, with neighboring Liaoning and Hubei provinces reporting a total of eight corona cases involving capital groups.
On Tuesday, Sichuan province in the southwest of the country also reported a confirmed case – a woman who returned from Beijing on June 9. She became infected while visiting her husband, who worked in the Sinfadi market.
Municipal authorities also banned high-risk groups, such as close contacts from confirmed cases, from leaving the city, officials said Monday.
CNN’s Steven Jiang and Shawn Deng contributed to the report.