Beijing ramps up testing and lockdown measures as outbreak grows

Beijing ramps up testing and lockdown measures as outbreak grows

China increased testing and lockdown measures in parts of the capital Tuesday to control what appeared to be its largest coronavirus outbreak in more than two months.

The 40 new cases reported Tuesday included 27 in Beijing, bringing the city’s total to 106 since Friday.

Many of the recent cases have been linked to Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale market and authorities have been testing market workers, anyone who visited the market in the past two weeks and anyone who came into contact with either group.

Fresh meat and seafood in the city and elsewhere in China was also being inspected on the unlikely chance that was how the virus spread.

A security officer at a blocked entrance to the Xinfadi wholesale market, which has been closed following cases of coronavirus infections, in Beijing Tuesday. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Residential communities around the market have been put under lockdown, along with the area around a second market, where three cases were confirmed. In all, 90,000 people are affected in the two neighborhoods in the city of 20 million.

Authorities are also barring residents of areas considered at high risk from leaving Beijing and those from such areas who have already left must report to local health bureaus as soon as possible.

Taxis and car-hailing services have been banned from taking people out of the city and the number of passengers on buses, trains and subways will also be limited and all are required to wear masks.

The outbreak may also be disrupting plans to restart China Super League soccer matches as early as next month. Coaches and players for Beijing Guoan, the city’s top team have been tested and given a week off because their training camp is in the same district as the source of the latest outbreak, local media reported Tuesday.

China had relaxed most of its controls after the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the virus in March, but Beijing suspended Monday’s planned restart of some primary schools and reversed the relaxation of some social isolation measures.

Published at Tue, 16 Jun 2020 08:00:00 +0000