Beijing reimposes strict lockdown measures amid rise of new cases

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Beijing will reimpose strict lockdown measures amid rise of new cases. The latest data shows over 100 people have been infected by the coronavirus.

Officials placed more residential compounds in lockdown mode. They disinfected over 30,000 restaurants and implemented outbound travel restrictions.

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According to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, there are 27 fresh Covid-19 cases. The five-day total became 106 following a new outbreak at Xinfadi, the largest wholesale food market in the city.
The market, located in Fengtai district and covers 277 acres, is brimming with over 2,000 stalls. There are stores of fruit, vegetables, meat, and seafood. Officials say the market provides about 70% of the city’s vegetables and 10% of its pork.
The market has been closed since Saturday. However, its size and the number of people who work there coming from Beijing increased the risk of the outbreak spreading.
Officials were able to trace nearly 200,000 people who went to the market during the two weeks prior to its closure. They will have to stay at home but are under medical observation. They will also be tested for the coronavirus, according to a city official told a news conference on Monday.

Residential lockdown

Authorities also ordered the shut down of two other food markets in Beijing due to positive cases associated with Xinfadi.
Seven residential communities around the Tiantao Honglian market in the Xicheng district will be locked down after the emergence of a new coronavirus case on Sunday.
There are also similar lockdowns on residential compounds around Xinfadi as well as the Yuquandong market in Haidian district. There are 29 residential communities have been locked down overall.
The residential lockdown measures reflect the ones imposed earlier in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

WHO’s recommendation

More scientists must probe coronavirus disease clusters, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in light of new cases in China.

“The answers lie in careful, systematic, exhaustive investigation of disease clusters to really look at what is happening in these situations and what is causing the amplification of the disease in the human context,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

“If we get that, we will build up a much better picture of the public health advice we need to give to our communities on what behaviors to avoid, what places to avoid, and what circumstances to avoid,” he said.

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According to WHO’s statement on Saturday, the positive cases are currently in isolation and being managed. Authorities are also conducting contact tracing and genetic sequencing of samples to analyze the origin of the cluster and connections between cases.

Ryan emphasized the importance of detecting specific risk factors, behaviors, situations, and contexts, in which transmission took place in clusters to prevent outbreaks.

“Special condition”

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, described clusters as a “special condition” in any country. She explained that health officials must discover the source of the cluster and what brought the cases together to effectively manage them.

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WHO officials are investigating the origin of new clusters in Beijing and tracing the pattern of the outbreak. The agency’s headquarter in Beijing is coordinating with epidemiologists and health experts to collect more data.