Accueil WTF Fears of second wave in China as 21 neighbourhoods lockdown in Beijing

Fears of second wave in China as 21 neighbourhoods lockdown in Beijing

Beijing on the tube and in an open air market

Many of the new cases in the capital are linked to a food market (Picture: ./AP)

China is braced for another coronavirus spike after 79 new cases were reported in the capital in the past four days.

Beijing had not seen a case of local transmission of Covid-19 in more than a month prior to the new increase – and has shut down 21 neighbourhoods in response.

China, where the virus first appeared late last year, reported 49 new coronavirus cases today, 36 of them in Beijing. All have been traced to the biggest wholesale food market in Asia, which supplies much of the city’s meat and vegetables. The Xinfadi market has been closed by the authorities, who ordered testing of all its workers and is requiring anyone who travelled there to self-isolate for two weeks.

Health authorities in China claimed the strain of virus was similar to that seen in Europe, though there was no immediate evidence of a connection.

In response, Beijing has suspended the restart of some classes and reversed the relaxation of some social isolation measures.

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None of the city’s 16 districts has been hit by a blanket lockdown despite the biggest cluster of cases since February.

But access to the neighbourhoods of the people who were infected have been blocked, with 11 neighbourhoods around Xinfadi and 10 others near another market have also been sealed. 90,000 residents are undergoing tests.

Neighbourhoods close to the market have been put on lockdown and more than 76,000 people tested.

Residents wearing face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus shop for fruit at an open air market in Beijing, Monday, June 15, 2020. China's capital was bracing Monday for a resurgence of the coronavirus after more than 100 new cases were reported in recent days in a city that hadn't seen a case of local transmission in more than a month. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Caption: Residents wearing face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus shop for fruit at an open air market in Beijing today (Picture: AP)

Passengers wearing face masks commute on a subway train during rush hour in Beijing on June 15, 2020

Caption: Passengers wearing face masks commute on a subway train during rush hour earlier (Picture: AP)

A woman and a child wearing protective face masks to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus walk by people lining up outside a health center to get the nucleic acid test in Beijing, Monday, June 15

A woman and a child wearing protective face masks walk by people lining up outside a health center to get a test today (Picture: AP)

Senior city government official Xu Ying told a news conference that the containment efforts had ‘rapidly entered into a war-time mode.’

China’s strict political system and tight social controls enable tracking of residents’ movements through the use of social media.

Entry to office buildings and grocery stores requires proof on a smartphone that the person has not travelled to areas where the virus is still active.

Beijing residents were also advised to avoid crowds and gathering in groups for meals.

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Officials in many parts of the city reimposed tough measures to stifle the spread of the virus, including round-the-clock security checkpoints, closing schools and sports venues and reinstating temperature checks at malls, supermarkets and offices.

Elsewhere, India’s Health Ministry reported a jump of more than 11,000 new infections nationwide for a third consecutive day today.

Pakistan’s upward spiral of new virus infections neared 145,000 today, amid warnings from political leaders that the numbers could double by the end of June and were likely to hit 1.2 million by the end of July if Pakistan’s 220 million people continue to flout basic precautions such as mask wearing.

In the US, cases in nearly half of states are rising.

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