After nearly two months with no new coronavirus infections, China has reported 79 new cases in Beijing over the past four days, the biggest infections since February.
The return of COVID-19’s risk in the Chinese capital, with a population of 21.5 million, ‘is very high,’ warned Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan at a meeting on Sunday.
She said Xinfadi, the market at the center of the cluster, had a highly dense and mobile population and could, therefore, prompt the epidemic to spread. The market is more than 20 times larger than Wuhan’s seafood market, where coronavirus was the first outbreak.
Sun urged officials to implement ‘resolute’ and ‘decisive’ measures to stop a possible resurgence of the virus.
‘The risk of the epidemic spreading is very high, so we should take resolute and decisive measures,’ Xu Hejiang, a spokesman at the Beijing city government, instructed. Beijing has locked down at least 11 neighborhoods close to the infected market and launched a mass-testing program to screen those who have visited the market or live nearby.
Several districts in Beijing reinstated security checkpoints, ordered residents to be tested and closed schools on Monday in response to the unexpected resurgence of COVID-19.
At these uncertain times, China is trying to shake off the economic torpor of the virus, as the headquarters of many major corporations located in the city.