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China Imposes Lockdowns as Covid-19 Cases Spike in Beijing

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China, Beijing, Covid-19, Lockdown

China has imposed a new strict covid-19 lockdown as new cases spike in Beijing and nearby provinces. Nearly half a million people in Wuhan City and Hebei province to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster on Sunday. Authorities in Beijing warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated”.

After China largely brought the covid-19 coronavirus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing. Furthermore cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province in recent weeks.

Health officials said Sunday that Anxin – about 150km from Beijing – will be “fully enclosed and controlled”. Beijing will impost the same strict measures as the city of Wuhan earlier this year.

Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine.  The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing.

This brings the total to 311 since mid-June and spurring the testing of millions of residents.

The outbreak was first detected in Beijing’s sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food market. The market supplies much of the city’s fresh produce. Now concerns have sparked over the safety of the food supply chain.

New Covid-19 cases in Beijing

Nearly a third of the cases so far have been linked to one beef and mutton section in the market. Workers there are being made to quarantine for a month, city officials said Sunday.

Businesses in Anxin county had supplied freshwater fish to the Xinfadi market, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Some 12 cases of Covid-19 were found in the county. Including 11 linked to Xinfadi, the state-run Global Times reported. The new cases in Beijing have prompted fears of a resurgence of the virus in China.

The capital has mass-tested wholesale market workers, restaurant workers, residents of medium and high-risk neighborhoods and delivery couriers over the past two weeks.

At a press conference on Sunday, officials said 8.3 million samples have been collected so far, of which 7.7 million have already been tested. Testing has now expanded to include all employees of the city’s beauty parlous and hair salons, the Global Times said.

Tracing the spread of Covid-19 in Beijing

Beijing city official Xu Hejian told reporters Sunday that “the epidemic situation in the capital is severe and complicated.” It warned that the city needed to continue tracing the spread of the virus.

City officials have urged people not to leave Beijing. They have also closed schools again and locked down dozens of residential compounds to stamp out the virus.

But Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiology expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters last week the new outbreak had been “brought under control”, and officials lifted a weeks-long lockdown imposed on seven Beijing communities on Friday.