Half a million locked up as Beijing battles new group of viruses

Half a million locked up as Beijing battles new group of viruses

New cases in Beijing have raised fears of a resurgence of the virus in China (Archive)


China imposed a strict blockade on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a new coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, as authorities warned it would soon “relax” over the new group of cases.

After China largely controlled the virus, hundreds of people became infected in Beijing and cases emerged in neighboring Hebei province.

Health officials said Sunday that Anxin County, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Beijing, will be “completely closed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in Wuhan City earlier in the day. of this year.

Now only one person from each family will be able to go out once a day to buy food like food and medicine, the county’s epidemic prevention team said in a statement.

Previously, the county had been subject to some travel restrictions, but now people are only allowed to leave their homes to seek medical treatment, according to the notice.

The move comes after 14 other cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, bringing the total to 311 since mid-June.

The outbreak was first detected in Xinfadi’s extensive wholesale food market in Beijing, which supplies much of the city’s fresh produce and raised concerns about the security of the food supply chain.

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

About 12 cases of the new coronavirus were found in the area, including 11 linked to the Xinfadi market, the state-run Global Times reported.

The new cases in Beijing have raised fears of a resurgence of the virus in China.

The capital has massively tested wholesale market workers, restaurant workers, residents of medium and high-risk neighborhoods, and delivery emails over the past week.

The tests have now been expanded to include all employees of the city’s beauty and hair salons, the Global Times said.

Beijing city official Xu Hejian told reporters on Saturday: “There is no room for us to relax.”

City officials have urged people not to leave the city, closed schools again, and locked up dozens of residential complexes to eliminate the virus.

But Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiology expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters last week that the new outbreak had been “controlled,” and officials lifted the shutdown of a week imposed on seven communities. in Beijing on Friday.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)