Beijing has seen a huge surge in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, after an outbreak of COVID-19 was found at Beijing’s Xinfadi market, Asia’s largest wet market selling meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. So far, 236 people have contracted the virus – the city’s worse outbreak since the virus emerged in Wuhan late last year.
In response to the wave of new cases in the city, Beijing authorities have highlighted 41 areas at most risk of a resurgence.
So far four neighbours have been identified as high-risk, with 37 being designated medium-risk.
In high risk areas, the entire neighbourhood will be forced to go into lockdown if there is just one infection in the community.
For medium-risk areas, residents are free to leave and enter – subject to temperature checks and registrations.
But if two or more confirmed cases are recorded in an apartment block, the place will be completely locked down.
Officials have ramped up testing in the area in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
The new infections were linked to the Xinfadi food centre, which spans about 250 football pitches in Beijing’s Fengtai District.
The market was immediately closed after the outbreak, and a report has now confirmed that the market was seriously contaminated with the disease.
JUST IN: Chinese dog meat festival opens despite COVID-19 fears
Now, more than 236 people have tested positive for the virus.
In response to the new cases, the government said all personnel at the market and nearby residents would be tested for the coronavirus and put under medical observation.
In response to the new outbreak, Beijing raised its emergency threat level to the second highest, which resulted in the implementation of a series of travel restrictions.
But Wu Hao, a disease control expert from the National Health Commission, expects Beijing’s cases to fall dramatically.
He told state television: “If you control the source, and cut the chain of transmission, the number will have a cliff-like drop.”