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13 Jun, 2020 09:23

‘Wartime-like’ response in Beijing as Covid-19 turns local market into hotspot

‘Wartime-like’ response in Beijing as Covid-19 turns local market into hotspot

A new cluster of Covid-19 cases has been discovered in Beijing, with infections being linked to a local food market. Official are now rushing to test over 10,000 of its employees.

“Wartime-like” disease control measures have been deployed in Beijing’s Fengtai District, local media reported, citing officials. Authorities warned of a new Covid-19 hotspot linked to the large Xinfadi wholesale food market, where 45 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Forty samples taken from the market’s surroundings also tested positive. In particular, the virus was discovered on a chopping board used by a seller of imported salmon.

Xinfadi was closed on Saturday, after which five more markets were shut down. Several residential communities were closed off, and schools and kindergartens in the area were closed as well.

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Sporting events in Beijing were suspended, as were group tours from other Chinese provinces. The authorities plan to test more than 10,000 people working at the market for the virus.

The coronavirus was first reported in the city of Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province in December. The outbreak was linked to the local market. China has since managed to largely bring the spread of the disease under control through strict lockdowns and mass testing. Officials are now focused on preventing a second wave of the virus.

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