Home World China second wave: Beijing officials admit situation 'extremely severe' as panic grows

China second wave: Beijing officials admit situation 'extremely severe' as panic grows

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The strict measures were ushered in after the number of fresh cases in the capital rose to more than 100 over five days. Authorities have sprung into “wartime” mode in a bid to put a lid on the “extremely severe” outbreak which has hit the city by surprise. Security checkpoints have been thrown up at residential compounds and people deemed to be high-risk have been banned from leaving the city.

Those who have had contact with a diagnosed case have been put in this category.

Entertainment and sports sites have been shut down.

Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, said he believed the latest outbreak could involve a more contagious strain of the viral disease than the one which was first detected in Wuhan late last year.

Authorities in Beijing have designated more than 20 neighbourhoods to be medium risk sites.

People who are in quarantine or in sealed off areas will have essential supplies dropped off.

On Tuesday some transport services in Beijing were also brought to a halt.

Leaders are desperately trying to stop the virus making its way to nearby cities.

China’s financial hub of Shanghai demanded some travellers from Beijing be quarantined for two weeks.

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Xu Hejian, a spokesman at the Beijing city government, sought to reassure residents that all necessary action was being taken.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, he said: “Beijing will take the most resolute, decisive, and strict measures to contain the outbreak.”

He described the situation as “extremely severe”. 

The outbreak has been traced to the sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food centre in the southwest of Beijing.

Thousands of tonnes of vegetables, fruits and meat change hands at the store each day.

All outbound taxi and car-hailing services have been suspended.

Some long-distance bus routes between Beijing and nearby Hebei and Shandong provinces have also been stopped.

Concerned about contagion risks, many provinces have imposed quarantine requirements on visitors from Beijing.

One suspected case who flew from Beijing to southwestern Sichuan province has become a confirmed case, health authorities said on Tuesday, and local officials are rounding up 111 close contacts for observation.

Hebei province reported four new cases, with two having come into direct contact with a virus carrier in the Chinese capital, and one being an operator at the Xinfadi market.



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