Beijing closes food market, locks district after new coronavirus outbreak


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Beijing quickly closed the city’s largest wholesale market after dozens of people were infected with coronavirus, and officials declared “wartime management” in a district, according to reports.

Of the 500 people tested on Friday, seven tested positive and tested for SYMPTOMS of VOCIDE-19, and another 46 asymptomatic individuals tested positive. The cases mark the first local transmissions of the disease in the Chinese capital in 55 days, according to the South China Morning Post.

People wearing masks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus stop at a checkpoint outside the big xinfadi food market district in Beijing, Saturday, June 13, 2020. Beijing closed the city’s largest wholesale food market on Saturday after seven cases of the new coronavirus were discovered in the previous two days.
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Patient Zero in the new outbreak is believed to have visited the Xinfadi market in Fengtai district, a market that accounts for about 90 percent of the city’s products.

Traces of the disease were found on the cutting boards, forcing a city-wide stampede to remove fish, especially salmon, from restaurant menus and supermarket shelves.

Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed that all new cases were linked to the Xinfadi market.

The Beijing Health Commission said at least three of the symptomatic patients were employees in the market, according to the New York Times.


Eleven neighborhoods around the market issued a notice of stay at home, and citizens were advised to avoid traveling in or out of Beijing. Sports events and group trips to Beijing were suspended and classes were cancelled for kindergarten and primary school students for the first three years.

Officials said that more than 10,000 people working in the market will be tested, and the market itself will be disinfected.  All patients who tested positive are quarantined and under observation.

More than 1,900 workers in the city’s markets have already been tested, according to the commission.

Feng Zhanchun, a public health expert, said the links between the number of positive cases mean the virus is spreading in the community. The spread and response have so far echoed Wuhan’s at the beginning of the pandemic.


“It can’t be controlled right now, the virus will affect many people in a short period of time because of the high population density in the cities,” Feng said.


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