The outbreak at the main food market Xinfadi in Beijing has now been shut after it leads to a neighborhood nearby to the highest alert level. Health authorities see the worst outbreak since early February. They reported 31 new cases today, taking the total to 137 in five days.
The mainland Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the virus type found in Beijing was the same ‘major epidemic strain’ in Europe.
Officials put the Beijing on a level two alert, the second-highest level in a four-tier system. 27 neighborhoods are in lockdown. Compulsory temperature checks are all over the city. Residents banned from leaving the city without being tested first.
All schools and kindergartens across the city were closed. Some restaurants and bars shut their doors. Places that are still open, including offices, have been instructed to carry out disinfection. Entertainment premises such as museums and parks are running at limited capacity.
A total of 1,255 flights have been canceled from and to Beijing today as China imposes drastic new travel restrictions.
‘The epidemic situation in the capital is extremely severe,’ Beijing city spokesman Xu Hejian warned yesterday.
According to state news agency Xinhua, testing capacity in the city has been expanded to 90,000 a day.
Provinces outside Beijing have also reported new cases linked to Xinfadi due to 11 imported cases.
Some provinces such as Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Sichuan, Hebei, and Zhejiang are imposing quarantine requirements on visitors from Beijing.
Officials said that since May 30, more than 200,000 people had visited the Xinfadi market. Macau, the world’s center of casino hub, now demands that arrivals from Beijing undergo a 14-day quarantine.