Beijing market under spotlight in epidemic

By Cheng Si | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-22 10:36
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Customers sort fruit at the temporary trading facility in June, 2020. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]


On June 11, Beijing reported its first new confirmed case of COVID-19 in 56 days.

Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told a June 12 news conference that the patient-who had no recent history of contact with people outside of the city-had visited the Xinfadi market to buy seafood and meat.

The subsequent confirmed cases were all proved to be connected with the market. As a result, the city authorities suspended operations at Xinfadi at 3 am on June 13 and disinfected the market.

The market's 8,000-plus workers, administrators and regular customers were all tested for the coronavirus on June 14 and then placed under medical observation.

In addition, 36 communities in the capital have been placed under stricter management. Samples have been taken from 2.3 million Beijing residents and they are being tested for the coronavirus.

On June 15, Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the Beijing government, told a news conference that the movement of people in Xinfadi and neighboring areas would be strictly managed and authorities were working to trace and control the source of the new outbreak.

The government has identified nearly 200,000 people who have visited the Xinfadi market since May 30.

Provinces outside of Beijing are also strengthening supervision of produce markets to prevent a resurgence of the epidemic.

On June 13, Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, took 1,590 samples from a number of supermarkets and wholesale produce markets in the city. They all tested negative for the coronavirus.

The city continued testing on June 14, paying particular attention to seafood products.

Also starting on June 14, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, organized coronavirus tests for the city's 204 produce markets, 138 supermarkets and 6,782 importers of seafood and meat.

All the venues tested negative for the virus.

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