China Reports Second Wave Of Virus, Travel Restricted To Fight 'Extremely Severe' Situation

Over 20 Beijing neighbourhoods have been marked as 'medium risk'. Health authorities on Monday sealed-off residences and people placed in quarantine will get food and medicine delivered to them.

India   |   16 Jun 2020 10:56 AM GMT
Writer : Navya Singh | Editor : Sumanti Sen | Creatives : Abhishek M
China Reports Second Wave Of Virus, Travel Restricted To Fight Extremely Severe Situation

Another "extremely severe" coronavirus outbreak has emerged in China's Beijing, prompting authorities to shut sports, schools and entertainment sites, and also put restrictions on travel.

Areas of the Chinese capital were closed off on Monday night, June 15, and close contacts of diagnosed cases were prevented from leaving the city.

Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director at the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, said that the fresh outbreak involved an even more contagious strain of the virus than the one that emerged in Wuhan during the outbreak of the deadly pandemic that has infected over nine million people globally.

Over 20 Beijing neighbourhoods have been marked as 'medium risk'. Health authorities on Monday sealed-off residences and people placed in quarantine will get food and medicine delivered to them.

"The epidemic situation in the capital is extremely severe," Beijing city spokesman Xu Hejian alerted at a press conference. "Right now we have to take strict measures to stop the spread of Covid-19."

The outbreak, which is linked to 106 cases, including 27 reported on Tuesday, June 16, has been traced to a wholesale food market in south-west Beijing that sells thousands of tonnes of food everyday. More than 200,000 people have visited the market since 30 May.

Provinces away from Beijing, including Yunnan in the south, have introduced rules requiring mandatory quarantine for those returning from Beijing. Shanghai authorities have said that all arrivals from medium and high-risk areas need to undergo 14 days quarantine.

More than 8,000 workers from the market have been tested and sent to centralised quarantine facilities, and other Beijing wet markets and restaurants are being disinfected.

Beijing had reported no fresh cases of COVID-19 for 56 straight days before an explosion of cases was reported on Thursday last week.

Since the first outbreak of the deadly virus was detected last year in December in Wuhan, China has reported over 84,000 cases and more than 4,600 people have succumbed to COVID-19.

The World Health Organization's emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said that he expected Chinese authorities to give out details of the genetic sequencing of the virus in Beijing. "A cluster like this is a concern and it needs to be investigated and controlled – and that is exactly what the Chinese authorities are doing," he said.

Researchers have said they are currently investigating the origins of the new outbreak.

State-run newspapers reported that the virus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at Beijing's Xinfadi market amid worries about a second wave of the pandemic in China.

Also Read: China Reports 57 New COVD-19 Cases Amid Growing Fears Of Resurgence Of Deadly Virus

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