Fears of 'second coronavirus wave' following 50 new cases in Beijing

13 June 2020, 14:37

Paramilitary police officers march as police stand guard at the entrance to the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing
Paramilitary police officers march as police stand guard at the entrance to the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing. Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

A district of China's capital Beijing has banned tourism after a cluster of coronavirus infections emerged around a wholesale market.

The largest wholesale food market in Beijing was closed behind police guard and the surrounding neighbourhood locked down on Saturday after more than 50 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the Chinese capital.

The outbreak came more than 50 days after the last reported local case in the city of 20 million people.

Authorities locked down 11 residential communities near the Xinfadi market, and police installed fencing to seal off a road leading to a group of apartment buildings.

Some concern is growing that the cases could signal a second wave of the pandemic.

The virus was first reported in December, 2019, at a seafood market in Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei province.

Beijing officials said 45 workers at the market tested positive, though they showed no symptoms.

That was in addition to seven earlier cases of people with symptoms who had visited or worked at the market.

Inspectors took 1,901 samples from meat, surfaces, dustbins, handles and other objects at the market, and 40 tested positive, the officials said.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

An official of Beijing's southwestern Fengtai district, Chu Junwei, said the district was in a "wartime emergency mode".

The capital will suspend sports events and interprovincial tourism effective immediately, Chu added.

Pang Xinghuo, an official at the Beijing Centre for Disease Control, said: "Preliminary judgment suggests these cases may have come into contact with a contaminated environment in the market, or were infected after being in contact with infected people.

"We cannot rule out subsequent cases in the future."

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Russia Ukraine War

Russia and Ukraine trade claims over shelling of nuclear power station again

France Heat

France faces worst drought on record as fourth heatwave of the year spreads

Ahmaud Arbery Hate Crimes

Georgia man who shot black jogger handed life sentence for hate crime

Palestinians Israel

Gaza power plant restarts as Israel-Palestinian truce holds

Turkey Russia Ukraine War

Ship carrying grain from Ukraine arrives in Istanbul

Polar Bear Warning Sign

Tourist injured in polar bear attack on Norwegian island

France Whale in Seine

Efforts to feed whale in French river fail again

Solomon Islands Stabbing

US diplomat says Solomon Islands leader ‘missed important opportunity’

King Harald V

Norway’s ageing king discharged from hospital after infection

Israel Palestinians Analysis

Ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants holds overnight

China Taiwan Military Exercises

China extends military exercises against Taiwan

Woman swimming with nurse sharks in the Bahamas

British boy, eight, savaged by sharks on family holiday 'like a scene out of jaws'

Thailand Pub Fire

Thai pub owner charged in connection with deadly blaze

Virus Outbreak Hong Kong

Hong Kong cuts Covid hotel quarantine for arrivals to three days

Solomon Islands Stabbing

Japanese sailor attacked at Solomon Islands memorial service

President Gustavo Petro raises his fist at the end of his inauguration speech in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, August 7, 2022

Colombia’s first leftist president declares ‘the war on drugs has failed’