schools close and dozens of flights canceled due to Covid-19 outbreak

schools close and dozens of flights canceled due to Covid-19 outbreak

© Greg Baker / AFP
A man signs up to undergo a Covid-19 test in Beijing on June 17, 2020, after schools are closed and flights canceled for fear of a flare-up.

To curb the spread of the outbreak detected in Beijing, the Chinese authorities ordered the closure of schools and the cancellation of 1,255 flights in and out of the capital, after once again increasing the level of the health emergency.

The new Covid-19 outbreak detected in Beijing’s main food market set off alarm bells from Chinese health authorities, after nearly two months without registering new infections.

Given the confirmation of 106 cases in the last five days, the Government ordered the closure of the city’s schools, as well as the blocking of the entrance of 29 residential complexes.

On Wednesday, June 17, health care agencies raised the emergency level and tightened control measures, through the application of mobility restrictions that prevent, for example, the departure of taxis from the Chinese capital.

As part of the prevention work, several disinfection groups were deployed that have visited 276 markets for agricultural products and at least 30,000 restaurants in the last hours.

In view of the threat of registering a second pandemic wave, 1,255 flights, 640 inbound and 615 outbound, to the city with more than 21.54 million inhabitants were also canceled.

The presentation of “atypical symptoms” by the newly identified infected has attracted the attention of medical teams, given the recurrence of joint pain, unlike fever and cough as warning signs, which were the common signs since the start of the pandemic.

To attend the outbreak, more than 100 workers in the health sector, including specialists and support staff, have been sent to the 19 hospitals where the new infected remain under supervision.

According to what was announced by Chen Bei, deputy secretary general of the Beijing municipal government, the city is now in “second level of emergency”, which implies again the suspension of absolutely all face-to-face educational activities at all levels, from primary even university students, as well as prioritizing telework as a safe option.

All of the underground markets operating in the areas under red alert were sealed and, for the moment, the key recommendation is that citizens remain confined to their homes, as at the beginning of the emergency.

Experts fear the outbreak is “more infectious” than Wuhan, the birthplace of the pandemic

In early June, Beijing residents had returned to normal after the emergency level dropped due to the control of the case registry, but this new alert raises doubts about the handling of the pandemic by the Chinese authorities who, On several occasions, he has been questioned by US President Donald Trump for the alleged data concealment, but defended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meanwhile, several dozen detection points continue to carry out tests to identify possible new cases and try to “close the loop” on the spread of the virus.

Some experts have warned that this second outbreak could be even “more infectious” than the one in Wuhan, so it is recommended to maintain protocols for constant hand washing and disinfection of items and food.

According to information collected by the entities in charge of establishing the origin of the new chain of infections, the virus was detected in a cutting board for fish that was used by a seller of imported salmon in the Xinfadi market.


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