Beijing health authorities have reported 36 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases on Monday amid fears of the second wave of infections in the Chinese capital. On Saturday, another 36 infections were also recorded.
Beijing had previously seen no new cases for more than 50 days. Sun Chunlan, China’s vice premier, called on the health officials and ordered them to take decisive steps as the fears of spread remained high. The recent outbreak is linked to the capital’s wholesale market.
The general manager, along with the other local officials of the market, has been dismissed. Liaoning, Sichuan, and Hebei have also reported suspected or confirmed cases linked to Beijing. The virus was discovered on the chopping board used for imported salmon at the market. This has prompted many shopkeepers to pull the fish from their shelves, the local media reported.
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Authorities quickly imposed lockdown in the market and 11 other neighborhoods. Only residents can come and go, but no deliveries or visitors are allowed. The Global Times reported that the reopening of primary schools scheduled for today has also been postponed. Meanwhile, the nurseries and schools near the wholesale market area have been told to shut down.
The coronavirus strain found in the Beijing market did not resemble the type circulating all across China, suggesting it might have been brought from somewhere else, the chief epidemiologist of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
The local health authorities plan to test some 10,000-market staff for the coronavirus. The fear of the new wave erupts as normalcy had returned to Beijing and most parts of the country. Many people had returned to their workplaces and students back to schools. However, the coronavirus restrictions remained in place.
The number of infections is not huge now, but health experts have expressed their fears that it can become a full-blown second wave in the country. However, in the time of crisis, the Communist Party has launched its response, with mass testing and stepping up isolation measures.
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