China reported on Tuesday 27 new Covid-19 contaminations in Beijing, where an additional market was closed along with seven surrounding residential areas. The town hall says that the capital is facing “an extremely serious situation”.
The balance of the resurgence of the new coronavirus in the last five days in the Chinese capital thus passes to 106 contaminations.
Five markets are now closed in whole or in part, including the gigantic wholesale market of Xinfadi, one of the largest in Asia, where the virus was spotted last week. While this epidemic upsurge raises fears of a “second wave”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday follow “very closely” the situation in Beijing and mentioned the possible sending of additional experts in the next days. Authorities have begun testing tens of thousands of residents. This resurgence comes as the country, from which Covid-19 left late last year, has virtually eradicated the epidemic in recent months. In Xicheng district, in the center of the capital, the Tiantaohonglian market was closed following the discovery of a contamination case in an employee, national television reported on Tuesday morning. In total, nearly thirty residential areas close to the closed markets were quarantined for 14 days, confining thousands of inhabitants. The town hall announced on Monday the closure of all sports and cultural sites, which had just reopened after months of closure.
In the rest of the country, cities have announced the quarantine of travelers from Beijing. In addition to the 27 new Beijing cases, the health ministry announced on Tuesday four contaminations in the neighboring province of Hebei, as well as one in Sichuan (southwest). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday that the strain discovered at the Xinfadi market corresponded to a strain commonly found in Europe. The virus was discovered in particular on a board which was used to cut imported salmon, but “that is not enough to certify that it comes from imported seafood”, however declared on television the chief epidemiologist from the CDC, Wu Zunyou. “It could have come from an infected person.” Nationwide, the Ministry of Health has reported eight new cases in travelers from abroad in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,845. According to official figures, China has counted 83,221 contaminations, including 4,634 fatal. No deaths have been reported in the past month.