The Chinese capital reported 36 new Covid-19 incidents on Monday, raising the total to 79, as a locally transmitted infection was first reported on June 12 in almost two months, according to the National Health Commission.
The cases are linked to the Xinfadi market in the southwest of the city, which supplies most of the capital’s fresh fruits and vegetables. The market, which also sells meat and seafood, closed on Saturday.
The new complex sent shockwaves through China, with Beijing City Government spokesman Xu Hejian describing it as “an extraordinary period” during a press conference on Sunday.
The sudden re-emergence of the virus in Beijing, previously considered one of the safest cities in the country, has raised the prospect of a second wave of infections and the possible reintroduction of closed-door locks that had previously stopped and forged much of the country. the economy.
Measures for war
Authorities have locked 11 residential complexes near the market, strictly forbidding anyone from entering or leaving. Residents will monitor and report their temperatures on a daily basis, as well as their food and daily needs.
Beijing has also begun mass tests of nucleic acid for the monster, creating 193 sampling chambers across the city. More than 76,000 people were tested on Sunday, with 59 positive, Xu told a news conference on Monday.
Nucleic acid tests work by detecting the genetic code of the virus and may be more effective in detecting an infection, especially in the early stages, than tests that look at a body’s immune response, although the latter are easier.
The Fengtai region has collected samples from 8,950 people working in the Xinfadi market. So far, more than 6,000 samples have been tested and all results are negative, according to Xu.
Authorities also tracked down and collected samples from nearly 30,000 people who visited the market 14 days before it closed. All 12,000 tests performed so far have shown negative results, Xu said.
The Beijing government has ordered anyone visiting the market and their close contacts to stay home for two weeks for medical follow-up. It also delayed the resumption of classes for primary school students, which was originally scheduled for Monday.
Several local officials, including Fengtai’s deputy chief of staff, were fired after the blast.
The epidemic is not the first time the virus has returned. In May, many places in the northeast of the country were quickly locked up after imported cases that caused incidents among local communities.
Prior to the new complex, however, Beijing had recorded only 420 local infections and 9 deaths compared to more than 80,000 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths nationwide, thanks to strict travel restrictions imposed at the beginning of the pandemic.
Like most of the rest of the country, life in Beijing had begun to return to normal, with businesses and schools reopening and crowds returning to malls, restaurants and parks.
Location of the source
The Beijing bombing will be the last test of China’s coronavirus restriction strategy.
Beijing authorities are still trying to locate the source of the latest epidemic, but are committed to conducting “the strictest epidemiological research.”
Zhang Yuxi, the market’s chairman, told Beijing News on Friday that the virus had been detected on a board used by a seller of imported salmon in the market, leading to fears of a wider infection. Several supermarket chains have since removed the salmon from their shelves, according to the Beijing Daily.
CNN’s Steven Jiang and Shawn Deng contributed to the report.