Fresh coronavirus cases forced Beijing to return to strict measures
Lately, China let its guard down as cases dipped. Hubei province, once worst-hit, decided to lower its emergency response. But the reports from Beijing forced the administration to return to strict measures.
On Thursday, Beijing's Xicheng district reported its first coronavirus case in 56 days, according to People's Daily.
The patient, surnamed Tang, hadn't left Beijing in the last two weeks.
The same day two locally transmitted cases were reported from the Fengtai district. They worked together at the China Meat Research Centre. Soon, 43 close contacts of the two were found and put under institutional quarantine.
One of them, a man surnamed Liu, visited the wholesale Xinfadi market. Tang had also paid a visit there.
Paramilitary forces visited markets, schools were shut
Officials announced six fresh, including the aforementioned, cases on Saturday. The Xinfadi market and another seafood market was shut for sanitization.
AFP reporters saw dozens of paramilitary police officers at both markets. Fengtai district officials said a "wartime mechanism" and "field command center" has been established to deal with this fresh wave.
Nine schools and kindergartens were shut and cross-provincial trips halted.
After this worrying development, Beijing's administration for market supervision said observation will be stepped up not only over markets selling fresh produce, frozen meat and seafood, but also over warehouses, supermarkets, and restaurants that use large amounts of meat.
The virus was detected on the chopping boards used to handle imported salmon, the chairman of Xinfadi meat market informed news agencies.
Beijing tested hundreds after new wave was reported
Meanwhile, Beijing authorities launched a massive testing program for those who came in close contact with the Xinfadi market after May 30. On Friday, nearly 2,000 wholesale market workers of Beijing were tested.
46 tested positive but showed no symptoms. They were put under strict observation.
Barring one, who worked with farmers' market in Haidian district, all of them were employed at Xinfadi.