Just after Europe opened its international borders on Monday, the Chinese capital Beijing is making way for ‘the strictest’ virus control measures, as new clusters of coronavirus cases start to surface. At least three districts of Beijing is in ‘wartime’ emergency and hundreds of thousands are being tested.
Beijing, which has more than 20 million inhabitants is considering the risk of a new epidemic wave in ‘very high’ possibility. The news comes after more than dozens positive cases emerged in a new cluster of the city, after almost three months of no fresh cases. So far, reportedly 76,499 people have already been tested with 59 positive cases, according to The People’s Government of Beijing Municipality.
The new outbreak is being pointed to have emerged from a massive wholesale market called Xinfadi, which is 20-times bigger than the Wuhan market where the virus originated, the Daily Mail reports.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan has urged the city authorities for the strictest measures possible to curb the spread. Since the market is densely populated and highly mobile, Chulan has emphasised the need to take firm and decisive measures to prevent the spread.
20-times bigger than Hunan Seafood Market
Xinfadi, the wholesale market in question reportedly feeds 90% of Beijing with whole food produces like fruits and vegetables.15-20% of the city’s meat appetite is also included
Sprawling over 1600-acres (the size of 157 football fields), it houses over 5000 merchants. It becomes the nation’s second wholesale market where the virus has been found, the first one being the Hunan Seafood market in Wuhan.
Speaking to the local media, chairman of the Beijing Xinfadi Wholesale Market, Zhang Yuxi told that the novel coronavirus was traced on a cutting board of imported Salmon, during the random assessment of commodities.
“At present, 9 relevant personnel involved in salmon in the new market have been tested for New Coronavirus, The results are temporarily negative and are currently in isolation,” Yuxi was quoted as saying on June 13th, the day it was locked down.
While countries across the world are rushing to open international borders and make thing normal, China’s rush to contain the new spread is alarming. The pandemic is far from over, these instances reflect. As much as 11 neighbourhoods near the Xinfadi market in the Chinese capital has been locked down fearing spread.
Countries like EU-member states, Spain, Germany, Inda among others have already relaxed lockdown restrictions. Some of these countries are simultaneously recording a spike in fresh cases. Just recently in New Delhi, India, the government has converted railway carriages into hospital wards to cope up with the growing cases.
Chinese officials from Beijing Center for Diseases Prevention and Control (Beijing CDC) said on Sunday that the virus might have emerged from Europe, after analyzing DNA sequencing data. However, experts were still trying to figure out the pathway of the virus. Other experts are however paranoid with the connection between food and the spread of the virus.
A virologist from the University of Queensland told the Associated Press that “it is more likely to be a person who came into the area with lots of people and the virus has spread, as the virus does.”