Covid-19: New cases in Beijing spur fears of second wave of infections

Covid-19: New cases in Beijing spur fears of second wave of infections

- Authorities have sealed off communities in Beijing after 75 new cases of coronavirus have been linked to a single wholesale food market

- Cases linked to the Xinfadi market have spurred fears of a second wave of infections

- Chinese health authorities have begun tracing and testing around the affected neighbourhoods

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China's capital city Beijing has had part of its neighbourhoods locked down again after a fresh Covid-19 outbreak with 75 cases linked to a single wholesale food market.

China has been able to bring the virus under control since it first emerged last year in the country. The fresh batch of cases will bring new challenges in the fight against the virus.

Chinese health officials reported 49 new cases nationwide on Monday, including 36 more in Beijing where a cluster linked to the Xinfadi market has fuelled fears of a second wave of infections.

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City official Li Junjie said at a press conference that cases had also been found at the Yuquandong wholesale market in the capital's northwestern Haidian district.

As a result, that market had been closed and nearby schools would be shut, while people living in 10 housing estates around it would be restricted from leaving their homes, said Junjie.

It was not clear how many households were under the new lockdown but thousands would be affected by the lockdown.

Beijing health officials have also begun a tracing and testing initiative. Thousands of locals were seen queuing up to be tested at one of the local stadiums which was heavily guarded by people in hazmat suits.

Officials reported that they plan on testing 46 000 people in the area and more than 10 000 people had been tested already.

Travel restrictions and warnings about Beijing have also been issued.

Authorities are also stepping up their efforts to curb the spread of the virus using companies and neighbourhood communities messaging staff to ask residents about their recent movements.

China currently has 83 181 confirmed cases, 78 370 recoveries and 4 634 deaths.

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