Things you may want to know about Beijing's new COVID-19 cases
Updated 09:06, 14-Jun-2020
Beijing Xinfadi Wholesale Market of Agricultural Products /CFP

Beijing Xinfadi Wholesale Market of Agricultural Products /CFP

Fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections have emerged in Beijing after dozens of residents tested positive for coronavirus.

The new confirmed patient reported on Wednesday was a locally transmitted case after Beijing had zero COVID-19 case for 56 consecutive days, local authorities said at a press briefing on Thursday.

On Saturday 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on the Chinese mainland from Friday. Seven out of the 11 cases are in Beijing, the National Health Commission announced in its daily report.

CGTN infographic by Pan Yufei

CGTN infographic by Pan Yufei

Where does the virus come from?

According to the epidemiological investigation, all confirmed cases have a travel history of going to Xinfadi market, Beijing's largest vegetable wholesale market.

Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people may get infected after visiting the market or having contact with infected people there.

What has Beijing done so far?

The local government has carried out large-scale testing of residents who have been in close contact with people working in the market, and sweeping virus check to surrounding places, as well as food and trade markets selling animals, frozen meat, aquatic products, and restaurants which have a large demands for these products.

They have ordered several major supermarkets in Beijing to take salmon off the shelves in the early hours of Saturday morning as the coronavirus was detected on imported salmon processing tables at Xinfadi market.

Group tours, sports events, and class resumption for low-grade students have all been suspended. Off-campus training institutions have been required to suspend offline classes and group activities.

The place where the market is located has launched "wartime-like control measures" to curb the spread of coronavirus. The wholesale market and the other 11 residential communities around the market have been closed off. 

Virus screening was expanded to market staff and nearly all surfaces, resulting in 517 throat swabs and 1,901 environment samples.

What will be the changes in Beijing's epidemic control measures?

Risk levels in some of the districts have already been raised from low to medium, according to local officials.

All restaurants will be asked to adjust their table distance for customers. Eating outside but within a close distance will not be allowed. Public places like cinema and karaoke bars will be temporarily shut down again, according to the guidelines of different industries.

Stations near the wholesale market have been closed. Long-distance travel is not recommended at this time and in the following days, according to local officials.

What are the precautions for individuals?

Food safety and personal hygiene should remain on high alert, warned the Beijing CDC. For example, use separate plates and utensils for cooked and raw foods. Wash thoroughly all plates, utensils, and cutting boards that touched raw meat, seafood, or eggs before using them again.

Meanwhile, residents should keep up personal protection. Wear masks correctly, practice social distancing, and avoid mass gatherings.

Those feeling unwell with a fever, or respiratory symptoms (such as cough, runny nose), must seek medical attention promptly.