Beijing | Several dozen residents of Beijing were found positive for the coronavirus, confirming the emergence of a new outbreak of contamination in the Chinese capital, where emergency containment was ordered in 11 neighborhoods.
These new cases raise fears of a resurgence of the epidemic in China, where COVID-19 disease had appeared last year in the city of Wuhan (center), which the authorities had managed to control by strict measures. quarantine.
These measures were lifted as the number of contamination cases declined and the majority of cases recorded in recent months were residents living abroad and having been declared positive upon their return to China.
China has officially counted 4,634 deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which killed more than 422,000 people worldwide.
Xinfadi Market in Fengtai District in southern Beijing has been closed after being linked to most of the contamination.
Seven cases of COVID-19 contamination have been identified in the vicinity of this meat, fish and vegetable market, including six on Saturday, according to health authorities.
However, 45 other asymptomatic cases were detected after tests carried out on nearly 2,000 market workers on Friday, said Beijing health official Pang Xinghuo.
A first case of COVID-19 in Beijing in two months was announced Thursday, a person who went to the Xinfadi market last week and had not left the city recently.
Among the six new cases announced on Saturday are three employees from Xinfadi market, one who went there to shop and three employees from a meat research center, seven kilometers from the market. One of them went to the market last week.
The market was closed by the authorities, as was a seafood market visited by one of the infected people, so that disinfection and sample collection operations could be carried out.
Hundreds of police were seen by AFP journalists near the two markets.
Fengtai district officials announced on Saturday that they would put in place a “wartime device” to deal with this new wave of contamination.
On Saturday morning, volunteers went door-to-door in several districts of Beijing, asking their interlocutors if they had recently visited the Xinfadi market.
The authorities have announced that large-scale tests will soon be organized for anyone who has been in “close contact” with the Xinfadi market since May 30.
Nine surrounding schools and kindergartens have been closed.
Beijing authorities on Friday postponed the students’ return to primary schools in the city and suspended all sporting events.
Visits to the Chinese capital by groups from other provinces were suspended on Saturday.
Xinfadi meat market president told Beijing News that the virus had been detected on boards used to cut up imported salmon.
In the process, health authorities ordered a city-wide inspection of fresh and frozen meat, poultry and fish, in supermarkets, storage warehouses and food services.
Large supermarket chains, including Wumart and Carrefour, removed salmon from their stalls overnight from Friday to Saturday in Beijing, while ensuring that the other foodstuffs were not affected, according to the daily Beijing Daily.
Several restaurants in Beijing no longer offered salmon on their menu on Saturday, AFP journalists found.