Jun 13, 2020 - Health

Beijing closes food market amid fears of second wave of coronavirus

People walk by as a large market in closes in Beijing following a coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Cui Nan/China News Service via Getty Images

Beijing has entered "wartime mode," with police guards and lockdowns, after a number of confirmed coronavirus cases tied to the Chinese capital's largest wholesale food market has threatens to unleash a second wave of infections, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: This latest outbreak in China highlights the virus's ability to reappear as restrictions are lifted, AP notes. The fresh cases come more than 50 days after the last local case was confirmed.

The state of play: Authorities in Beijing are closely monitoring food markets given the nature of COVID-19's spread. The first known cluster of virus cases was found at the Huanan market in Wuhan, China.

  • Officials have confirmed multiple symptomatic and asymptomatic cases among people associated with the Xinfadi market and at another market in the Haidian district.
  • Other markets in Beijing have either closed entirely or partially to mitigate the spread, per the Post.
  • By the end of Friday, Beijing authorities swabbed over 1,900 market workers in major supermarkets and food markets in the capital city, and had collected over 5,400 environmental samples.

What they're saying: Xu Hejian, a spokesperson for the Beijing municipal government, said, "We would like to warn everyone not to drop their guard even for a second in epidemic prevention control: we must be prepared for a prolonged fight with the virus.”

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